February 27, 2007

Tower Group, Inc. Reports 45% Increase in Net Income; Company Delivers Record Results for 2006

Tower Group, Inc. Reports 45ncrease in Net Income; Company Delivers Record Results for 2006

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 27, 2007--Tower Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWGP) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2006, including a 45% increase in net income to $9.5 million as compared to net income of $6.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. For the year ended December 31, 2006, net income increased 77% to $36.8 million as compared to $20.8 million for the prior year.

Diluted earnings per share of $0.46 for the fourth quarter of 2006 were based on 20,483,388 weighted average diluted shares as compared with $0.32 per share for the fourth quarter of 2005, based on 20,200,584 weighted average diluted shares. For the year, Tower reported diluted earnings per share of $1.82, based on 20,147,318 weighted average diluted shares, as compared with $1.03 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2005 based on 20,147,073 weighted average diluted shares.

              Fourth Quarter and Twelve Month Highlights


Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended December 31, December 31, --------------------- --------------------- 2006 2005 2006 2005 ===================== =====================



Gross premiums written $121,066 $78,612 $432,663 $300,107 Net premiums written 65,059 55,845 245,070 211,782 Net premiums earned 55,080 51,503 223,988 164,436 Total commission and fee income 15,583 10,980 52,237 40,213 Net investment income 7,151 4,504 23,026 14,983 Net realized gains (losses) on investments 96 (92) 12 122 Total revenues 77,910 66,895 299,263 219,754 Other income 550 - 13,402 - Net Income 9,513 6,564 36,764 20,754

EPS - Basic $0.47 $0.33 $1.85 $1.06 EPS - Diluted $0.46 $0.32 $1.82 $1.03 Return on Average Equity 20.7% 18.4% 22.2% 15.1%

Note: The net effects of the commutation and novation transactions with PXRE in the second quarter of 2006, the gains recorded on the CastlePoint investment and warrant, and the CastlePoint start-up costs added $4.1 million to our net income and 2.2 percentage points to our return on average equity for the year ended December 31, 2006.

Michael H. Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tower Group, Inc. commented, "Our operating results during the fourth quarter and full year 2006 continue to be driven by the strength of our business model which produced a return on equity in excess of 20%. In addition, we are pleased that despite competitive pricing in certain market segments, we successfully executed on our marketing and underwriting strategies to achieve strong top line premium growth and excellent underwriting results. With the establishment of our strategic relationship with CastlePoint, the recently completed capital raise for Tower and the pending acquisition of Preserver, we are well positioned in 2007 to continue profitable premium growth while maintaining our underwriting and expense discipline."

Fourth Quarter 2006 Financial Highlights

Total revenues increased 16.5% to $77.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2006 as compared to $66.9 million in the same period in 2005. Net premiums earned increased by 6.9% to $55.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2006 compared to $51.5 million for the same period in 2005. During the fourth quarter of 2006, we ceded to CastlePoint Reinsurance $45.5 million, or approximately 38% of gross premiums written in our insurance segment, under quota share reinsurance agreements. This is compared to a 25% quota share ceding percentage in the three months ended December 31, 2005.

Total commission and fee income increased 41.9% to $15.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2006 as compared to $11.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. Net investment income in the fourth quarter of 2006 increased 58.8% to $7.2 million versus $4.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Gross loss and loss adjustment expenses and the gross loss ratio for the Insurance and Reinsurance Segments combined for the three months ended December 31, 2006 were $48.9 million and 49.5%, respectively, compared to $41.4 million and 57.4%, respectively, for the same period in 2005. The net loss ratio for the combined segments was 54.6% for the three months ended December 31, 2006 as compared to 58.3% in the same period of 2005.

Operating expenses were $31.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2006 as compared to $25.5 million for the same period in 2005.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $9.5 million compared to $6.6 million in 2005. Our annualized return on average equity was 20.7% for the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to 18.4% for the same period in 2005.

On December 4, 2006, we issued $40 million of preferred stock ("Preferred Stock") to a subsidiary of CastlePoint Holdings, Ltd. As of January 26, 2007 all of the Company's Preferred Stock was fully redeemed.

Full Year 2006 Financial Highlights

Total revenues increased by 36.2% to $299.3 million for 2006 compared to $219.8 million for 2005. Net premiums earned increased by 36.2% to $224.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2006 compared to $164.4 million for 2005. During the year, we ceded to CastlePoint Reinsurance $155.2 million, or approximately 38% of gross premiums written in our insurance segment, under quota share reinsurance agreements. This is compared to a 25% quota share ceding percentage in the year ended December 31, 2005.

Total commission and fee income increased 29.9% to $52.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2006 as compared to $40.2 million in 2005. Net investment income in 2006 increased 53.7% to $23.0 million versus $15.0 million in 2005. On a tax equivalent basis, the yield was 5.7% as of December 31, 2006 versus 5.2% as of December 31, 2005. The increase in net investment income is due to an increase in invested assets to $464.0 million as of December 31, 2006 compared to $357.2 million as of December 31, 2005. Net cash flow provided by operations of $134.0 million contributed to the increase in invested assets along with the issuance of trust preferred and Preferred Stock.

Gross loss and loss adjustment expenses and the gross loss ratio for the Insurance and Reinsurance Segments combined for the year ended December 31, 2006 were $199.9 million and 55.0%, respectively, compared to $135.2 million and 56.8%, respectively, for 2005. The net loss ratio for the combined segments was 60.3% for the year as compared to 58.8% in 2005.

Operating expenses were $114.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2006 as compared to $86.5 million for 2005.

Our 2006 net income was $36.8 million compared to $20.8 million in 2005. Return on average equity was 22.2% for 2006 compared to 15.1% in 2005. For 2006, the return was calculated by dividing net income available to common stockholders of $36.6 million by an average common stockholders' equity of $164.6 million. For 2005, the return was calculated by dividing net income of $20.8 million by an average common stockholders' equity of $137.1 million.

The effective income tax rate was 34.9% in 2006 compared to 34.8% in 2005.

Dividend Declaration

Tower Group, Inc. announced today that the Company's Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend on February 22, 2007 of $0.025 per share payable March 30, 2007 to stockholders of record as of March 15, 2007.

Additional Highlights

On January 25, 2007, the Company participated in a private placement of $20.0 million of fixed/floating rate capital securities issued by Tower Group Statutory Trust VI. Interest distributions are initially at a fixed rate of 8.155% for the first five years and will then reset quarterly for changes in the three-month London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") plus 300 basis points. The net proceeds were used to redeem $20.0 million of the Preferred Stock on January 26, 2007.

On January 26, 2007, the Company closed on its public offering of 2,704,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $31.25 per share. The Company's net proceeds were approximately $79.3 million. The Company used $20.0 million of these net proceeds to redeem its remaining $20.0 million of Preferred Stock.

On February 5, 2007 the underwriters in the Company's common stock offering, partially exercised their overallotment option to acquire 340,600 shares of common stock. The exercise of the over-allotment option brings the Company's aggregate net proceeds from the offering to approximately $89.4 million.

2007 Guidance

For the first quarter of 2007, we project net income to increase from the first quarter of 2006 to a range between $9.9 million and $10.8 million. We project the diluted earnings per share in the first quarter to be in the range between $0.44 and $0.48 per diluted share. We have historically experienced seasonality between the fourth and first quarters with either lower or flat growth despite overall growth for the year. For the full year, we anticipate net income to increase to a range between $55 million and $57 million and diluted earnings per share to be between $2.40 and $2.50 per diluted share.

About Tower Group, Inc.

Tower Group, Inc., headquartered in New York City, offers property and casualty insurance products and services through its insurance company and insurance service subsidiaries. Its two insurance company subsidiaries are Tower Insurance Company of New York, which is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company and offers commercial insurance products to small to medium-size businesses and personal insurance products to individuals, and Tower National Insurance Company, which is also rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Tower Group's insurance services subsidiary, Tower Risk Management, acts as a managing general agency, adjusts claims and negotiates reinsurance terms on behalf of other insurance companies.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements. This release or any other written or oral statements made by or on behalf of the Company may include forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and financial performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "will," "plan," "expect," "project", "intend," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe" or "continue" or their negative or variations or similar terminology. All forward-looking statements address matters that involve risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. We believe that these factors include but are not limited to ineffectiveness or obsolescence of our business strategy due to changes in current or future market conditions; increased competition on the basis of pricing, capacity, coverage terms or other factors; greater frequency or severity of claims and loss activity, including as a result of natural or man-made catastrophic events, than our underwriting, reserving or investment practices anticipate based on historical experience or industry data; the effects of acts of terrorism or war; developments in the world's financial and capital markets that adversely affect the performance of our investments; changes in regulations or laws applicable to us, our subsidiaries, brokers or customers; changes in the level of demand for our insurance and reinsurance products and services, including new products and services; changes in the availability, cost or quality of reinsurance and failure of our reinsurers to pay claims timely or at all; loss of the services of any of our executive officers or other key personnel; the effects of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; changes in rating agency policies or practices; changes in legal theories of liability under our insurance policies; changes in accounting policies or practices; and changes in general economic conditions, including inflation and other factors. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.



For more information visit Tower's website at http://www.twrgrp.com/.

Results of Operations Insurance and Reinsurance Segments Fourth Quarter

Revenues 2006 2005 % Change Earned premiums Gross premiums earned $ 98,714 $ 72,046 37.0% Less: Ceded premiums earned (43,634) (20,543) 112.4% --------- --------- --------- Net premiums earned 55,080 51,503 6.9% Ceded commission revenue 12,580 7,197 74.8% Policy Billings Fees 304 215 41.5% --------- --------- --------- Total 67,964 58,915 15.4%

Expenses Loss and Loss Adjustment Expenses Gross loss and loss adjustment expenses 48,889 41,371 18.2% Less: Ceded loss and loss adjustment expenses (18,790) (11,344) 65.6% --------- --------- --------- Net loss and loss adjustment expense 30,099 30,027 0.2%

Underwriting Expenses Commissions paid to producers 16,524 11,577 42.7% Other underwriting expenses 13,230 10,840 22.0% --------- --------- --------- Total Underwriting Expenses 29,754 22,417 32.7%

Underwriting Profit $ 8,111 $ 6,471 25.3% ========= ========= =========



Key Measures Written Premiums Gross $121,066 $ 78,612 54.0% Ceded (56,007) (22,767) 146.0% --------- --------- --------- Net $ 65,059 $ 55,845 16.5% ========= ========= ========= Loss ratios Gross 49.5% 57.4% Net 54.6% 58.3% Accident Year Loss Ratio Gross 51.3% 57.5% Net 56.6% 58.5% Expense ratios Gross 29.8% 30.8% Net 30.6% 29.1% Combined ratios (GAAP) Gross 79.3% 88.2% Net 85.2% 87.4%
                        Results of Operations
                  Insurance and Reinsurance Segments
                              Full Year


Revenues 2006 2005 % Change Earned premiums Gross premiums earned $ 363,425 $237,833 52.8% Less: Ceded premiums earned (139,437) (73,397) 90.0% ---------- --------- --------- Net premiums earned 223,988 164,436 36.2% Ceded commission revenue 43,130 25,218 71.0% Policy Billings Fees 1,129 868 30.1% ---------- --------- --------- Total 268,247 190,522 40.8%

Expenses Loss and Loss Adjustment Expenses Gross loss and loss adjustment expenses 199,863 135,198 47.8% Less: Ceded loss and loss adjustment expenses (64,738) (38,584) 67.8% ---------- --------- --------- Net loss and loss adjustment expense 135,125 96,614 39.9%

Underwriting Expenses Commissions paid to producers 58,633 38,788 51.2% Other underwriting expenses 46,738 35,436 31.9% ---------- --------- --------- Total Underwriting Expenses 105,371 74,224 42.0%

Underwriting Profit $ 27,751 $ 19,684 41.0% ========== ========= =========



Key Measures Written Premiums Gross $ 432,663 $300,107 44.2% Ceded (187,593) (88,325) 112.4% ---------- --------- --------- Net $ 245,070 $211,782 15.7% ========== ========= ========= Loss ratios Gross 55.0% 56.8% Net 60.3% 58.8% Accident Year Loss Ratio Gross 55.8% 57.3% Net 60.7% 59.0% Expense ratios Gross 28.7% 30.8% Net 27.3% 29.3% Combined ratios (GAAP) Gross 83.7% 87.6% Net 87.6% 88.1%
                        Results of Operations
                      Insurance Services Segment
                            Fourth Quarter


2006 2005 % Change

Revenue Direct Commission Revenue from Managing General Agency $1,175 $ 2,435 -51.8% Claims Administration Revenue 621 981 -36.7% Other Administration Revenue 737 - 0.0% Reinsurance Intermediary Fees 166 147 12.9% Policy Billing Fees - 5 0.0% ------- -------- --------- Total Revenues 2,699 3,568 -24.4% ------- -------- ---------

Expenses Direct Commissions Expense Paid to Producers 380 1,523 -75.0% Other Insurance Services Expenses 843 569 48.2% Claims Expense Reimbursement to TICNY 620 979 -36.7% ------- -------- --------- Total Expenses 1,843 3,071 -40.0% ------- -------- ---------

Insurance Services Pre-tax Income (Loss) $ 856 $ 497 72.2% ======= ======== =========

Premium Produced by TRM on behalf of issuing companies $2,656 $10,289 -74.2% ======= ======== =========
                        Results of Operations
                      Insurance Services Segment
                              Full Year


2006 2005 % Change

Revenue Direct Commission Revenue from Managing General Agency $ 3,466 $ 9,148 -62.1% Claims Administration Revenue 3,193 4,268 -25.2% Other Administration Revenue 737 - Reinsurance Intermediary Fees 577 688 -16.1% Policy Billing Fees 5 23 -------- -------- --------- Total Revenues 7,978 14,127 -43.5% -------- -------- ---------

Expenses Direct Commissions Expense Paid to Producers 1,925 5,051 -61.9% Other Insurance Services Expenses 1,578 1,981 -20.3% Claims Expense Reimbursement to TICNY 3,176 4,255 -25.4% -------- -------- --------- Total Expenses 6,679 11,287 -40.8%

Insurance Services Pre-tax Income $ 1,299 $ 2,840 -54.3% ======== ======== =========

Premium Produced by TRM on behalf of issuing companies $12,926 $35,177 -63.3% ======== ======== =========
                          Tower Group, Inc.
                Consolidated Statements of Income and
                       Comprehensive Net Income
                             (Unaudited)


Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended December 31, December 31, 2006 2005 2006 2005 ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- ($ in thousands, except per share and share amounts) Revenues Net premiums earned $55,080 $51,503 $223,988 $164,436 Ceding commission revenue 12,580 7,197 43,130 25,218 Insurance services revenue 2,699 3,562 7,973 14,103 Net investment income 7,151 4,504 23,026 14,983 Net realized gains (losses) on investments 96 (92) 12 122 Policy billing fees 304 221 1,134 892 ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- Total revenues 77,910 66,895 299,263 219,754 ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- Expenses Loss and loss adjustment expenses 30,099 30,027 135,125 96,614 Direct commission expense 16,904 13,101 60,558 43,839 Other operating expenses 14,957 12,367 53,675 42,632 Interest expense 1,804 1,286 6,870 4,853 ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- Total expenses 63,764 56,781 256,228 187,938 ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- Other Income Equity income in unconsolidated affiliate 550 - 914 - Gain from issuance of common stock by unconsolidated affiliate - - 7,883 - Warrant received from unconsolidated affiliate - - 4,605 - Income before income taxes 14,696 10,114 56,437 31,816 Income tax expense 5,183 3,550 19,673 11,062 ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- Net income $9,513 $6,564 $36,764 $20,754 =========== =========== =========== ===========

Comprehensive Net Income Net income $9,513 $6,564 $36,764 $20,754 Other comprehensive income: Gross unrealized investment holding gains (losses) arising during period 1,170 (2,240) 4,443 (6,664) Equity in net unrealized (losses) gains in investment in unconsolidated affiliate's investment portfolio (41) - 143 - Less: reclassification adjustment for net realized (losses) gains included in net income (96) 92 (12) (122) ----------------------- ----------------------- 1,033 (2,148) 4,574 (6,786) Income tax (expense) benefit related to items of other comprehensive income (362) 752 (1,659) 2,382 ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- Total other comprehensive net Income (losses) 671 (1,396) 2,915 (4,404) ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- Comprehensive Net Income $10,184 $5,168 $39,679 $16,350 =========== =========== =========== ===========

Earnings Per Share Basic earnings per common share $0.47 $0.33 $1.85 $1.06 =========== =========== =========== =========== Diluted earnings per common share $0.46 $0.32 $1.82 $1.03 =========== =========== =========== ===========

Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding: Basic 19,798,141 19,632,158 19,750,309 19,571,081 Diluted 20,483,388 20,200,584 20,147,318 20,147,073
                          Tower Group, Inc.
                     Consolidated Balance Sheets
                             (Unaudited)


December 31, ----------------------- 2006 2005 ----------- ----------- ($ in thousands) Assets Fixed-maturity securities, available-for-sale, at fair value (amortized cost $416,642 in 2006 and $331,123 in 2005) $414,567 $326,681 Equity securities, available-for-sale, at fair value (cost $47,971 in 2006 and $31,239 in 2005) 49,453 30,492 ----------- ----------- Total investments 464,020 357,173 Cash and cash equivalents 100,598 38,760 Investment income receivable 4,767 3,337 Agents' balances receivable 65,578 46,004 Assumed premiums receivable 77 1,076 Ceding commission receivable 3,237 8,727 Reinsurance recoverable 118,003 104,811 Receivable -- claims paid by agency 5,186 2,309 Prepaid reinsurance premiums 94,063 43,319 Deferred acquisition costs net of deferred ceding commission revenue 35,811 29,192 State income tax recoverable - 365 Deferred income taxes - 3,204 Intangible assets 5,423 5,835 Fixed assets, net of accumulated depreciation 20,563 7,920 Investment in unconsolidated affiliate 27,944 - Investment in common trust securities - statutory business trusts, equity method 2,045 1,426 Other assets 6,767 3,999 ----------- ----------- Total Assets $954,082 $657,457 =========== ===========
                          Tower Group, Inc.
               Consolidated Balance Sheets (Continued)
                             (Unaudited)


December 31, ----------------------- 2006 2005 ----------- ----------- ($ in thousands, except par value and share amounts) Liabilities Loss and loss adjustment expenses $302,541 $198,724 Unearned premium 227,017 157,779 Reinsurance balances payable 38,560 19,200 Payable to issuing carriers 662 5,252 Funds held as agent 8,181 8,191 Funds held under reinsurance agreements 51,527 59,042 Accounts payable and accrued expenses 18,267 13,694 Deferred rent liability 6,295 - Payable for securities 2,922 - Other liabilities 3,515 2,867 Federal and state income taxes payable 1,163 460 Deferred income taxes 1,255 - Dividends payable 212 - Subordinated debentures 68,045 47,426 ----------- ----------- Total Liabilities 730,162 512,635 ----------- -----------



Stockholders' Equity Series A perpetual preferred stock ($0.01 par value per share; 2,000,000 shares authorized; 40,000 shares issued and outstanding in 2006 with liquidation preference of $1,000 per share, net of $0.4 million of issuance costs 39,600 - Common stock ($0.01 par value per share; 40,000,000 shares authorized, 20,005,758 and 19,872,672 shares issued in 2006 and 2005 and 19,980,306 and 19,854,791 outstanding in 2006 and 2005) 200 199 Paid-in-capital 113,168 111,066 Accumulated other comprehensive net income (437) (3,352) Retained earnings 71,596 37,019 Treasury stock (25,452 shares in 2006 and 17,881 in 2005) (207) (110) ----------- ----------- Total Stockholders' Equity 223,920 144,822 ----------- ----------- Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $954,082 $657,457 =========== ===========



CONTACT: Tower Group, Inc.
Thomas Song, 212-655-4789
Managing Vice President
tsong@twrgrp.com

SOURCE: Tower Group, Inc.


Close window | Back to top

Copyright 2014 Tower Group International, Ltd.