PEMBROKE, Bermuda, Oct. 28, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:ENH) today reported net income of $139.1 million and $2.51 per diluted common share for the third quarter of 2010 versus net income of $153.8 million and $2.51 per diluted common share in the third quarter of 2009.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2010, net income was $253.5 million and $4.33 per diluted common share versus net income of $381.3 million and $6.15 per diluted common share for the nine months ended September 30, 2009.

Operating highlights for the quarter ended September 30, 2010 were as follows:
  • Net premiums written of $451.9 million, an increase of 13.9% over the same period in 2009;
  • Combined ratio of 83.7%, which included 7.5 percentage points of favorable prior year loss reserve development;
  • Net investment income of $53.7 million, a decrease of $17.9 million over the same period in 2009;
  • Operating income, which excludes after-tax realized investment gains and losses and foreign exchange gains and losses, of $119.4 million and $2.14 per diluted common share;
  • Operating return on average common equity for the quarter of 4.3%, or 17.2% on an annualized basis; and
  • Book value of $51.83 per diluted common share, up 8.5% from June 30, 2010.

Operating highlights for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 were as follows:
  • Net premiums written of $1,605.6 million, an increase of 10.0% over the same period in 2009;
  • Combined ratio of 90.1%, which included 8.0 percentage points of favorable prior year loss reserve development;
  • Net investment income of $143.5 million, a decrease of $81.5 million over the same period in 2009;
  • Operating income, which excludes after-tax realized investment gains and losses and foreign exchange gains and losses, of $237.3 million and $4.04 per diluted common share;
  • Operating return on average common equity for the first nine months of the year of 8.5%, or 11.3% on an annualized basis; and
  • Book value of $51.83 per diluted common share, up 16.2% from December 31, 2009.

David Cash, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Endurance generated strong returns in the quarter in spite of historically low investment yields and strong competitive forces in many of the underwriting markets in which we operate. During the quarter, we found a number of good opportunities in which to deploy our capital, including the expansion and diversification of our international catastrophe reinsurance portfolio through a renewal rights transaction. Our agriculture insurance line of business continues to outperform our expectations, generating improved margins on a growing premium base. In addition, we repurchased nearly three million shares of our common stock at a significant discount to book value."