Tower Group's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Tower Group (TWGP)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 28, 2012 9:00 am ET

Executives

William E. Hitselberger - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President

Michael H. Lee - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Analysts

Randy Binner - FBR Capital Markets & Co., Research Division

Robert Farnam - Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division

Adam Klauber - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Tyrone, and I'll be your conference facilitator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Tower Group's Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to your host, Bill Hitselberger, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead, sir.

William E. Hitselberger

Thank you, Tyrone, and good morning, everyone. Before I turn the call over to Tower Group President and CEO, Michael Lee, I would like to remind you that some of the statements that will be presented during this call will be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. For more information on the risks and other factors that may affect future performance, investors should review periodic reports that are filed by the company with the SEC from time to time. As we noted in our earnings release, in October 2010, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued a new guidance concerning the accounting for costs associated with acquiring or renewing insurance contracts. We adopted this guidance effective January 1, 2011, and therefore adjusted our previously issued financial information. Adoption of this guidance reduced the carrying value of our deferred acquisition costs as of December 31, 2010, by $78.7 million, and Tower Group Inc.'s stockholders' equity had $42.6 million. Diluted operating earnings per share for the fourth quarter 2010 and for the year ended December 31, 2010, were reduced by $0.04 and $0.31 per share respectively, as a result of this change in accounting. As a reminder, Michael and I will be speaking today and referencing the slideshow that is available on our website, www.twrgrp.com under the Investor section. Also, a replay of this call will be on the Tower website immediately following the call. Now I'd like to turn the call over to Michael.

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