EMC Insurance Group Inc.
) third-quarter 2013 operating earnings per share of 50 cents was
at par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but lagged the
prior-year quarter's earnings of 65 cents. Consequently,
operating net income plunged 22.6% year over year to $6.5
Including extraordinary items, reported income stood at $7.2
million or 55 cents per share, down from $8.3 million or 65 cents
a share. Realized investment gains escalated 150% to $719.5
Total revenues amounted to $143.1 million, up 7.8% from $132.7
million in the prior-year quarter. The uptick was driven by
earned premiums that rose 9% year over year to $132.4 million.
However, net investment income dipped 3.6% to $10.5 million.
Meanwhile, loss and settlement expenses scaled up 11.2% year
over year to $88.2 million. Additionally, underwriting expenses
rose 9.5% to $17.3 million. As a result, total expenses increased
10.4% year over year to $134.5 million. Even combined ratio
deteriorated to 100.8% from 99.3% in the year-ago quarter,
primarily due to higher expense ratios.
As on Sep 30, 2013, EMC Insurance's total investment portfolio
improved to $1.22 billion versus $1.19 billion at 2012-end.
Moreover, total cash stood at $600.9 million compared with $330.4
million at the end of 2012. Total shareholder equity stood at
$408.0 million at the end of Sep 2013, up from $401.2 million at
the end of 2012.
EMC Insurance exited the reported quarter with book value per
share of $31.03, up 1.9% from $30.46 at the end of Sep 2013.
Excluding accumulated other comprehensive income, book value
increased 5.3% to $28.83 per share from 2012-end.
Management revised its 2013 operating earnings guidance upward
to $2.60−2.85 per share from the prior range of $2.40−2.65 per
share. GAAP combined ratio is projected at around 98.4%, while
investment income is estimated to decline by mid-single-digit in
Along with EMC Insurance, other strong performers in the
insurance sector include
Hilltop Holdings Inc.
Navigators Group Inc.
). All the four stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
AMERISAFE INC (AMSF): Free Stock Analysis
EMC INSURANCE (EMCI): Free Stock Analysis
HILLTOP HLDGS (HTH): Free Stock Analysis
NAVIGATORS GRP (NAVG): Free Stock Analysis
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