string(13) "news_articles" State Auto Financial reports third quarter 2018 results

State Auto Financial reports third quarter 2018 results

2018-11-01

  • Quarterly earnings of $0.76 per share
  • Quarterly income from operations1 of $0.44 per share
  • Quarterly GAAP combined ratio of 98.4
  • Return on equity of 3.0%
  • Book value per share of $20.24

COLUMBUS, OHIO - November 1, 2018 - State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STFC) today reported third quarter 2018 net income of $33.4 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $9.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the same 2017 period. Net income from operations per diluted share for the third quarter 2018 was $0.44 versus net loss from operations per diluted share of $0.54 for the same 2017 period.

For the first nine months of 2018, STFC had net income of $37.3 million, or $0.86 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $4.1 million2, or $0.102 per diluted share, for the same 2017 period. Net earnings from operations1 per diluted share for the first nine months of 2018 was $0.53 versus a net loss from operations1 per diluted share of $0.782 for the same 2017 period.

GAAP Operating Results

STFC’s GAAP combined ratio for the third quarter 2018 was 98.4 compared to 114.8 for the same 2017 period. Catastrophe losses during the third quarter 2018 accounted for 5.3 points of the 62.3 total loss ratio points, or $16.3 million, versus 17.6 points of the total 79.5 loss ratio points, or $56.1 million, for the same period in 2017.  Non-­catastrophe losses and ALAE during the third quarter 2018 included 5.9 points of favorable development relating to prior years, or $18.1 million, versus 2.8 points of favorable development, or $8.8 million, for the same period in 2017.

Net written premium for the third quarter 2018 decreased 2.8% compared to the same period in 2017. By insurance segment, net written premium for the personal and commercial segments increased 18.0% and 0.4%, respectively, with the specialty segment reported negative written premium as a result of our decision to exit the specialty business. The increase in the personal segment was primarily due to rate actions taken to improve the profitability in personal auto, new business growth, and a higher level of policies in force for the third quarter 2018 compared to the third quarter 2017. The increase in the commercial segment was primarily driven by rate increases and a higher level of new business production from commercial auto and middle market commercial during the third quarter 2018 compared to the third quarter 2017. Partially offsetting the increase was a decline in small commercial package and workers' compensation new business during the third quarter 2018 compared to the third quarter 2017.

STFC’s GAAP combined ratio for the first nine months of 2018 was 102.6 compared to 109.92 for the same 2017 period. Catastrophe losses for the first nine months of 2018 accounted for 6.8 points of the 66.8 total loss ratio points, or $63.6 million, versus 12.1 points of the total 75.03 loss ratio points, or $115.7 million, for the same period in 2017. Non-­catastrophe losses and ALAE for the first nine months of 2018 included 5.6 points of favorable development relating to prior years, or $52.2 million, versus 3.0 points of favorable development, or $28.4 million, for the same period in 2017.

Net written premium for the first nine months of 2018 decreased 5.9% compared to the same period in 2017. By insurance segment, net written premium for the personal and commercial segments increased 21.0% and 3.4%, respectively, and the specialty segment decreased 91.9% in conjunction with our exit from this business. The increases in net written premiums in the personal and commercial segments were due to the same factors discussed above for the third quarter.

SAP Personal and Commercial Operating Results

The SAP personal and commercial segments', our ongoing insurance segments, combined ratio3 for the third quarter 2018 was 96.4 compared to 99.2 for the same 2017 period. Catastrophe losses during the third quarter 2018 accounted for 5.5 points of the total 61.4 loss ratio points, or $15.9 million, versus 4.8 points of the total 65.8 loss ratio points, or $12.4 million, for the same period in 2017. Non-catastrophe losses and ALAE during the third quarter 2018 included 6.9 points of favorable development relating to prior years, or $19.9 million, versus 3.9 points of favorable development, or $10.0 million, for the same period in 2017.

The SAP personal and commercial segments' combined ratio3 for the first nine months of 2018 was 100.8 compared to 104.0 for the same 2017 period. Catastrophe losses during the first nine months of 2018 accounted for 7.6 points of the total 66.0 loss ratio points, or $63.4 million, versus 8.9 points of the total 70.4 loss ratio points, or $69.1 million, for the same period in 2017. Non-catastrophe losses and ALAE during the first nine months of 2018 included 6.7 points of favorable development relating to prior years, or $56.4 million, versus 4.0 points of favorable development, or $31.0 million, for the same period in 2017.

Book Value and Return on Equity

STFC’s book value was $20.24 per share as of Sept. 30, 2018, compared to $20.632 on Dec. 31, 2017. The decrease was driven by the market value of our investment portfolio. Return on stockholders’ equity for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2018, was 3.0% compared to 3.2%2 for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2017.

STFC’s Chairman, President and CEO Mike LaRocco commented on the quarter as follows:

“We began a journey to transform State Auto in 2015. We rebuilt the foundation of our company with the culture required to deliver on our simple yet powerful goal of profitable growth. Just 14 months later, we began the rollout of a new digital platform for personal lines, and later for commercial lines. Our agents and customers responded with strong quote volume and a remarkable increase in new business.

“Third quarter 2018 delivered proof that we can grow and be profitable, and now I can definitively say that after three and a half years, the turnaround phase of our journey is complete. To be clear, we have a long way to go. A single quarter isn’t enough to declare victory, and the goals for the next phase of our journey are very ambitious. We can and we will be better.

“I’m extremely proud of our team and our independent agents. Together, we’ve returned State Auto to relevance in the property and casualty insurance industry, and we’re better prepared than ever to compete in an industry undergoing transformational change. Going forward, we’ll continue to build out our digital platform, improve the competitiveness of our products and provide outstanding service to our customers."

About State Auto Financial Corporation

State Auto Financial Corporation, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a super regional property and casualty insurance holding company and is proud to be a Trusted Choice® company partner. STFC stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, which represents the top fourth of all NASDAQ listed companies.

The insurance subsidiaries of State Auto Financial Corporation are part of the State Auto Group. The State Auto Group markets its insurance products throughout the United States, through independent insurance agencies. The State Auto Group is rated A- (Excellent) by the A.M. Best Company and includes State Automobile Mutual, State Auto Property & Casualty, State Auto Ohio, State Auto Wisconsin, Milbank, Meridian Security, Patrons Mutual, Rockhill Insurance, Plaza Insurance, American Compensation and Bloomington Compensation. Additional information on State Auto Financial Corporation and the State Auto Insurance Companies can be found online at http://www.StateAuto.com/STFC.

1 Net earnings (loss) from operations, a non-GAAP financial measure which management believes is informative to Company management and investors, differs from GAAP net income (loss) only by the exclusion of net investment gain (loss), net of applicable taxes, on investment activity for the periods being reported. For STFC, this amounted to income of $0.32 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2018 and income of $0.33 year-to-date 2018 versus income of $0.31 per diluted share for the third quarter 2017 and income of $0.68 year-to-date 2017.

2 As previously disclosed, the results for the first nine months of 2017 have been restated to correct an error discovered during the first quarter of 2018 relating to the calculation of deferred acquisition costs (DAC) along with making other adjustments not previously recorded relating to that same time period. Although the error was immaterial to STFC’s previously issued financial statements, the cumulative correction would have a material effect on the 2018 financial statements.  Accordingly, the results for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017, throughout this release have been adjusted to incorporate the revised amounts, where applicable.  Please refer to our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ending March 31, 2018, for further information.

3 Insurance industry regulators require STFC's insurance subsidiaries to report their financial condition and results of operations using Statutory Accounting Practices ("SAP"). The SAP personal and commercial segments combined ratio is a measure used by management to evaluate STFC’s operating performance for its ongoing operations. Details behind the compilation of these results can be found on page 20 of this release.

STFC has scheduled a conference call with interested investors for Thursday, November 1, at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the Company’s third quarter 2018 performance. Live and archived broadcasts of the call can be accessed at http://www.StateAuto.com/STFC. A replay of the call can be heard beginning at 2 p.m., November 1, by calling 855-859-2056, conference ID 3282729. Supplemental schedules detailing the Company’s third quarter 2018 financial, sales and underwriting results are made available on http://www.StateAuto.com/STFC prior to the conference call.

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Except for historical information, all other information in this news release consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. The most significant of these uncertainties are described in State Auto Financial's Form 10-K and Form 10-Q reports and exhibits to those reports, and include (but are not limited to) legislative changes at both the state and federal level, state and federal regulatory rule making promulgations and adjudications, class action litigation involving the insurance industry and judicial decisions affecting claims, policy coverages and the general costs of doing business, the impact of competition on products and pricing, inflation in the costs of the products and services insurance pays for, product development, geographic spread of risk, weather and weather-related events, and other types of catastrophic events. State Auto Financial undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

 

State Auto Financial Corporation

 

Media contact:

Kyle Anderson, 614-917-5497

Kyle.Anderson@StateAuto.com>

 

or

 

Investor contact:

Natalie Schoolcraft, 614-917-4341

Natalie.Schoolcraft@StateAuto.com

 

Third Quarter 2018 earnings release