Endurance Specialty Holdings' CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (ENH)

Q2 2012 Earnings Conference Call

August 1, 2012 08:30 ET

Executives

Greg Schroeter – Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development

David Cash – Chief Executive Officer

Mike McGuire – Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Ian Gutterman – Adage Capital

Amit Kumar – Macquarie

Meyer Shields – Stifel Nicolaus

Presentation

Operator

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

I would now like to turn the call over to Greg, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Development. Please go ahead, sir.

Greg Schroeter – Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development

Thank you, Michele and welcome to our call. David Cash, Chief Executive Officer and Mike McGuire, Chief Financial Officer will deliver our prepared remarks. Before turning the call over to David, I would like to note that certain of the matters that will be 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 trends, growth prospects, market conditions, capital management initiatives and information regarding our premiums, loss reserves, expenses and investment portfolio.

Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the markets in which we operate, the economy and other future conditions and involve inherent 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 you 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 that could 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 and Endurance undertakes no obligation publicly to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

In addition, this presentation contains information regarding operating income and other 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 can be found on our website at www.endurance.bm.

I’d now like to turn the call over to David Cash.

David Cash – Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Greg. Good morning and welcome to our call. Endurance had a good second quarter and first half of 2012 generating improved net income, operating income and earnings per share while also delivering strong growth in book value per share. Book value per share grew 3% in the quarter ending up 5.8% from year ended 2011. Like catastrophes and an improved pricing environment in both our insurance and reinsurance segments contributed to the growth, market conditions and pricing continue to improve in most of our insurance lines of business as well as in key reinsurance lines such as catastrophe.

Against this pricing backdrop, the company was able to grow premiums in both its insurance and reinsurance segments and was able to improve the overall risk adjusted return potential of our portfolio. Finally, our investment portfolio generated a positive total return in the quarter and first half of the year even this financial market volatility and the low interest rate environment continue to suppress investment yields.

Later in the call, I’ll provide some detailed commentary and market conditions we’re seeing across our key lines of business as well as providing a review of our crop insurance portfolio in light of the challenging growing conditions that Midwestern farmers are facing this year. First, I’ll hand the call to Mike McGuire who will review our financial results in more detail.

Mike McGuire – Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, David and good morning everyone. In the second quarter, Endurance generated net income to common shareholders of $64.3 million and $1.48 per diluted share and operating income of $50.4 million and $1.18 per diluted share. Our diluted book value per share ended the quarter at $53.48 up 5.8% from year end 2011 and up 7% when excluding the $0.62 per share in dividends paid in the first half of 2012.

Compared to 2011, the improvement in our operating results reflected a lower level of catastrophe losses in our reinsurance segment and improved ex-cat accident year results in both our insurance and reinsurance segments which was partially offset by lower net investment income.

Net premiums written in the second quarter were $484.4 million, an increase of 9.7% over 2011 as we experienced strong growth in both our insurance and reinsurance segments. Within our insurance segment, second quarter net premiums written of $186.7 million increased 7.6% over 2011. Premium growth in our agricultural line of business was partially offset by reductions in our property line of business. Agricultural growth is driven by higher policy accounts, which was partially offset by higher sessions to the Federal Reinsurance Program.

Reduced property insurance premiums reflect a strategy of shifting US wind capacity from all risk insurance to catastrophe reinsurance which we believe has higher margin and return potential. Reinsurance segment net premiums written were $297.8 million in the quarter up 11% from 2011. Catastrophe premium growth was driven by improved pricing, strong retentions, expansion of existing client relationships and increased capacity allocated to our cat lines. The shift in US wind capacity from insurance to reinsurance enabled us to grow premiums while reducing overall PMLs for US wind.

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