Everest Re Group, Ltd. has reported net income of $384.3 million, or $7.50 per diluted common share, for the first quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $304.7 million, or $5.68 per diluted common share, for the first quarter of 2012. Excluding realized capital gains and losses, after-tax operating income1 was $301.1 million, or $5.88 per diluted common share, for the first quarter 2013, compared to after-tax operating income1 of $239.9 million, or $4.48 per diluted common share, for the same period last year.
Commenting on the Company's results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph V. Taranto said, "This was a record quarter for Everest with 13% growth in premium, 25% growth in operating earnings, and an annualized net income return on equity of 25%. Clearly the industry benefitted from a quarter without catastrophe losses but Everest's performance is also the result of a targeted growth strategy aimed at broadening its book and improving the risk-adjusted returns. We continue to see opportunities and are very excited about the future prospects for Everest."
Operating highlights for the first quarter of 2013 included the following:
- Gross written premiums increased 13% to $1.18 billion compared to the first quarter of 2012. Worldwide, reinsurance premiums were up 11%, quarter over quarter, driven by strong January renewals, primarily for property catastrophe exposed business. Insurance premiums were up 19% for the period with growth coming from its California workers' compensation, crop, and non-standard automobile books of business.
- The combined ratio was 80.7% for the quarter compared to 89.0% in the first quarter of 2012. Excluding catastrophe losses, reinstatement premiums, and prior year development, for each quarter, the attritional combined ratio improved 5.7 points.
- Net investment income for the current quarter was $145.8 million, including limited partnership income of $17.5 million.
- Net after-tax realized capital gains totaled $83.3 million for the quarter.
- Cash flow from operations was $225.7 million compared to $165.7 million for the same period in 2012.
- For the quarter, the annualized after-tax operating income¹ return on average adjusted shareholders' equity² was 19.4%.
- During the quarter, the Company repurchased 2.0 million of its common shares at an average price of $122.34 and a total cost of $238.6 million. Subsequent to the quarter, the Company repurchased an additional 88,100 shares for a total cost of $11.4 million. The repurchases were made pursuant to a share repurchase authorization, provided by the Company's Board of Directors, under which there remains 2.3 million shares available.
- Shareholders' equity ended the quarter at $6.8 billion, up from $6.7 billion at year end 2012. Book value per share increased 4% from $130.96 at December 31, 2012 to $136.43 at March 31, 2013.