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Assurant posts strong quarter, income up $20 million from 2013

Earnings per share were $1.86

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Assurant, a provider of specialty insurance and insurance-related products, reported a net income of $137.2 million for the first quarter of 2014. Assurant’s earnings per share were $1.86.

Assurant’s net income is up $20 million from the first quarter of 2013, when the company reported $117.8 million in net income and earnings per share of $1.46.

The company’s net operating income increased to $124.4 million, or $1.68 per share, compared to first quarter 2013 net operating income of $109.3 million, or $1.35 per share.

The company cited strong results for Assurant Solutions as well as a higher contribution from Assurant Employee Benefits as the primary reasons for the increase.

The company’s earned income was $2.3 billion for the quarter, up from $2.0 billion in 2013.

"We are pleased with the overall performance of all our businesses in first quarter 2014," said Robert B. Pollock, president and CEO of Assurant. "These results reflect the progress we are making as we expand our offerings, strengthen our core businesses and drive operational excellence across Assurant."

Assurant’s corporate capital stands at approximately $540 million as of March 31, 2014. Deployable capital, which excludes the company’s $250 million risk buffer, totaled approximately $290 million.

During the quarter, Assurant retired $467 million of debt that matured in February 2014. In addition, the holding company infused $7 million of capital, net of dividends, into certain business segments to support growth.

As part of its earnings disclosure, the company released four expectations for the remainder of 2014:

  • Assurant Solutions’ net earned premiums and fees to increase compared to 2013, primarily driven by growth in mobile. Net operating income to increase due to higher contributions from mobile, improved international results and savings from previous expense management actions. Quarterly results to vary, reflecting timing of new product introductions, client marketing programs and seasonal trends in mobile. The business segment to achieve $50 million of net operating income in fourth quarter 2014.
  • Assurant Specialty Property’s net earned premiums and fees to remain level with 2013. Growth in targeted areas, including contributions from the recently announced StreetLinks acquisition, to be partially offset by declines in lender-placed insurance. Overall results to be affected by catastrophe losses, lower placement and premium rates in lender-placed insurance, and possible loss of tracked loans. Expense ratio to increase, primarily reflecting a higher mix of fee income business and additional operating costs to support lender-placed insurance. Non-catastrophe loss ratio to increase due to higher claims frequency and lower premium rates.
  • Assurant Health’s net earned premiums and fees to increase compared to 2013 due to sales of new individual major medical policies under the ACA. Modest segment net operating loss to reflect higher tax liabilities, inclusive of the additional $5.7 million tax liability in the first quarter, and higher commission expenses on new sales. Results to vary based on emerging claims experience under ACA plans and related risk mitigation programs.
  • Assurant Employee Benefits’ net earned premiums and fees to increase compared to 2013 due to growth in voluntary products. Continued expense management actions to offset higher expenditures to support accelerated growth in voluntary. Results to be affected by employment trends and capital market conditions.

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