Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd. (PTP)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

July 21, 2010 8:00 am ET


Michael Price – President and CEO

Allan Decleir – EVP and CFO

Neal Schmidt – EVP and Chief Actuary


Dean Evans – KBW

Larry Greenberg – Langen McAlenney

Matthew Heimermann – J.P. Morgan

Jay Cohen – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Ian Gutterman – Adage Capital

Ron Bobman – Capital Returns

DeForest Hinman – Walthausen & Company



Good morning, and welcome to Platinum Underwriters second quarter 2010 earnings conference call and webcast. The company's earnings press release and financial supplement can be found on the Investor Relations section on the company's Web site at

This call is being recorded, a replay of this call and webcast will be available from 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time today until midnight Eastern Time on Thursday, July 29th, 2010. The replay can be access by dialing 888-203-1112 for US callers, and for international callers by dialing 719-457-0820. Please specify pass code 6419932.

Before we begin, please note that management believes certain statements of this teleconference may constitute forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements about expectations, estimates, and assumptions concerning future events and financial performance of the company, and are subject to significant uncertainties and risks that could cause certain plans, anticipated actions, and the company's future financial condition and results to differ materially from expectations.

These uncertainties and risks include those disclosed in the company's filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and the company assumes no obligation to update or revise them in light of new information, future events, or otherwise.

In addition, management may refer to certain non-GAAP measures, which management believes allows for more complete understanding of the company's financial results. A reconciliation of these measures to the most comparable GAAP measures is presented in the company's earnings press release.

At this time, I'd like to turn the call over to Mr. Michael Price, Chief Executive Officer, Platinum.

Michael Price

Thank you, operator. Welcome to this morning's call. With me today are Allan Decleir, our Chief Financial Officer; and, Neal Schmidt, our Chief Actuary. I'd like to begin by welcoming Allan to the call. Allan's been with Platinum since 2003, and is now comfortably settled into the CFO role. I'd also like to extend our sincere thanks to Jim Krantz for his many years of service to the company, and wish him well as he returns to California.

After I provide an overview of our results for the quarter, Allan will discuss those results in more detail. Then, I'll cover several topics, including our recent underwriting activity, our outlook on market conditions, recent investment decisions, and capital management. Finally, we'll be happy to take your questions.

We produced net income of $124 million in the quarter, which is a record $2.68 of diluted earnings per common share. Our tangible book value per share grew by 10% in the quarter and now stands at $51.23. These results reflect current period underwriting profits, favorable reserve development, strong investment performance on a total return basis, and active capital management.

Results also incorporate a $16 million negative impact from increasing our Chilean earthquake loss estimate to reflect worse than expected experience on catastrophe treaties exposed to large commercial risks.

Net premiums earned are 18% lower than the same quarter last year, reflecting our disciplined approach to underwriting in the face of deteriorating market conditions.

Allan will now take us through the numbers in more detail. Allan?

Allan Decleir

Thank you, Michael, for providing the highlights, and good morning to everyone. Three noteworthy items impacted our net income for the quarter. Net investment income and net realized investment gains generated $84.9 million of income. Net favorable development provided $40.1 million of income. And the results benefited from the absence of major catastrophes in the quarter, although we increased our loss estimate for the first quarter of 2010 events by $16.4 million.

Regarding our investment results, we continue to adjust our investment portfolio to respond to changes in market conditions. During the second quarter of 2010, we realized net gains of $49.5 million, compared with realized net gain of $10.8 million in the second quarter of 2009. The quarterly gains were primarily from the sales of US treasuries, nine US sovereign credits, and Ginnie Maes.

Net investment income was $35.4 million for the quarter, compared with $44.1 million for the same quarter last year. The decrease primarily resulted from lower new money yields. Net impairment losses on investments were $3.4 million for the quarter, the impairment made on non-agency RMBS and subprime asset-backed securities.

Regarding our favorable development, our property and marine segment has net favorable development in the quarter of $15.5 million, coming primarily from the crop and catastrophe excess of loss classes. Our casualty segment had net favorable development of $23.4 million, mainly in North American claims made and North American occurrence excessive loss classes. Our finite risk segment also had small favorable development.

Regarding our estimates for first quarter 2010 catastrophes, our estimate of catastrophe losses was increased by $16.4 million during the quarter. Substantially all the increase relates to the February 27th earthquakes in Chile and is based on more detailed reporting and information coming from our seeding and brokers.

At this point, we are holding $56.3 million of IBNR for this event, which is approximately $10 million greater than the ultimate loss estimates reported to us by our seeding companies.

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