Endurance Specialty Holdings' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (ENH)

Q4 2011 Earnings Conference Call

February 10, 2012, 08:30 a.m. ET

Executi ve s

Greg Schroeder - SVP, IR and Corporate Development

David Cash - CEO

Mike McGuire - CFO

Bill Jewett - President

Mike Angelina - CRO

Mark Silverstein - CIO

Analyst s

Amit Kumar - Macquarie

Matthew Heimermann - JPMorgan

Meyer Shields - Stifel Nicolaus

Jay Cohen - Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Ian Gutterman - Adage Capital

Presentation

Operator

Good morning everyone and welcome to the Endurance Specialty Holdings Fourth Quarter Earnings Results Conference Call. This call is being recorded. Your lines will be in listen-only mode during the presentation. You will have an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation. Instructions will be given at that time.

I’d now like to introduce your call to Mr. Greg Schroeder, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Development. Please go ahead sir.

Greg Schroeder

Thank you, Nikki and welcome to our call. David Cash, Chief Executive Officer; and Mike McGuire, Chief Financial Officer will deliver our prepared remarks. To the question-and-answer portion of our call, joining David and Mike will be Bill Jewett, President; Mike Angelina, Chief Risk Officer; and Mark Silverstein, Chief Investment Officer.

Before turning the call over to David, I’d like to note that certain of the matters discussed here today are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates, and expectations and include but are not necessarily limited to various elements of our strategy, business plans growth prospects, market conditions, capital management initiatives, information regarding our premiums loss reserves, expenses and asset portfolio.

Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the markets in which we operate, the economy, the other future conditions and involving other risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements and we therefore caution against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are sensitive to many factors including those identified in Endurance’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly report on Form 10-Q and other documents unfiled with the SEC that can cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, Endurance undertakes no obligation publicly to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. In addition, this presentation contains information regarding operating income, number of measures that are non-GAAP financial measures. For reconciliation of these items to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures please refer to our press release which we can be found on our website at www.Endurance.bm.

I’ll now turn the call over to David Cash.

David Cash

Thank you, Greg. Good morning and welcome to our call. The fourth quarter was once again a challenging one for the insurance and reinsurance industry, with significant catastrophe loss activity dominating company results. As was announced on January 19th, Endurance experienced its fair share of those losses and this is reflected in the results we reported last night. 2011 was a tough year and it’s one that we’re happy to put behind us.

Looking forward, I’m pleased to say that we’re seeing positive underwriting and pricing trends across our different businesses. And it’s clear that we’re moving into an improved underwriting environment. Given the positive direction of the market and the strength of our underlying businesses, I believe that Endurance is well positioned for a strong 2012.

Turning to our results. For the fourth quarter, Endurance’s diluted book value per share shrank to 2.1% and now stands at 50.56. After adding back dividends paid, book value per share is down 1.9% for the year 2011. For 2011, Endurance produced a net loss of $94 million, while experiencing 467 million of catastrophe losses.

In the fourth quarter, the company posted a combined ratio of 112.5%, a number which included 22 percentage points of current year catastrophe losses. Year-over-year, fourth quarter written premiums grew materially, with a 39% increase in the gross premiums and a 19% increase in net premiums. These premium increases were attributable both to price increases and growth in policy counts, both in our Insurance and Reinsurance businesses.

Net investment income for the fourth quarter was 41 million, down from the 57 million we generated in the fourth quarter of 2010, as a result of lower alternative returns and fixed income yields. Finally, our balance sheet and capital position remained strong with our loss reserves generating 42 million of positive development in the fourth quarter and our P&L position is being comfortably within our risk tolerances. Later in the call I’ll provide further commentary on our performance for the quarter as well as some thoughts on our positioning for the 2012 year.

With that I’ll pass the call over to Mike McGuire, who will review our financial results in more detail.

Mike McGuire

Thanks, David, and good morning everyone. Endurance generated a net loss of $27.4 million and $0.88 per diluted share for the fourth quarter and an operating loss of $31.3 million and $0.98 per diluted share. For the full-year we generate a net loss of $93.7 million or $2.95 per share and an operating loss of $128.2 million or $3.81 per share. Our diluted book value per share ended the year at $50.56, down 4.1% for the year. Adding back the $1.20 per share in dividends paid in the year, the decline in book value was 1.9%.

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