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TORCHMARK CORPORATION REPORTS Fourth Quarter 2016 Results
Feb 1, 2017
MCKINNEY, Texas, Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Torchmark Corporation (NYSE: TMK) reported today that for the quarter ended December 31, 2016, net income was $1.12 per diluted common share, compared with $1.07 per diluted common share for the year-ago quarter. Net operating income from continuing operations for the quarter was $1.15 per diluted common share, compared with $1.05 per diluted common share for the year-ago quarter.
Net income for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $4.49 per diluted common share, compared with $4.16 per diluted common share for the year-ago period. Net operating income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $4.49 per diluted common share compared with $4.13 per diluted common share for the prior year.
Net income and net operating income for 2016 reflect the impact of new accounting guidance implemented on a prospective basis at the beginning of 2016.
Net operating income, a non-GAAP financial measure, has been used consistently by Torchmark's management for many years to evaluate the operating performance of the Company, and is a measure commonly used in the life insurance industry. It differs from net income primarily because it excludes certain non-operating items such as realized investment gains and losses and certain nonrecurring items included in net income. Management believes an analysis of net operating income is important in understanding the profitability and operating trends of the Company's business. Net income is the most directly comparable GAAP measure.
FINANCIAL SUMMARY, CON'T
FINANCIAL SUMMARY, CON'T
Shareholders' equity, excluding net unrealized gains on fixed maturities, and book value per share, excluding net unrealized gains on fixed maturities, are non-GAAP measures that are utilized by management to view the business without the effect of unrealized gains or losses which are primarily attributable to fluctuation in interest rates on the available-for-sale portfolio. Management views the business in this manner because the Company has the ability and generally, the intent, to hold investments to maturity and meaningful trends can more easily be identified without the fluctuations. Shareholders' equity and book value per share are the most directly comparable GAAP measures.
CONTINUING INSURANCE OPERATIONS – comparing the fourth quarter 2016 with fourth quarter 2015:
Life insurance accounted for 72% of the Company's insurance underwriting margin for the quarter and 70% of total premium revenue.
Health insurance accounted for 27% of Torchmark's insurance underwriting margin for the quarter and 30% of total premium revenue.
Net sales of life insurance were flat, while net health sales decreased 21%.
INSURANCE PREMIUM REVENUE
INSURANCE UNDERWRITING INCOME
Insurance underwriting margin, a non-GAAP measure, is management's measure of profitability of its life, health, and annuity segments' underwriting performance, and consists of premiums less policy obligations, commissions and other acquisition expenses. Insurance underwriting income is the sum of the insurance underwriting margins of the life, health, and annuity segments, plus other income, less insurance administrative expenses. It excludes the investment segment, parent company expense and income taxes. Management believes this information helps provide a better understanding of the business and a more meaningful analysis of underwriting results by distribution channel. Underwriting income is a component of net operating income, which is reconciled to net income in the Financial Summary section above.
Insurance Results from Continuing Operations by Distribution Channel
Total premium, underwriting margins, first-year collected premium and net sales by all distribution channels are shown at www.torchmarkcorp.com on the Investors page at "Financial Reports."
American Income Agency was Torchmark's leading contributor to total underwriting margin ($86 million), on premium revenue of $257 million. Life premiums of $236 million were up 11% and life insurance underwriting margin of $75 million was up 10%. As a percentage of life premium, life underwriting margin was 32%, the same as a year ago and the highest of the major life distribution channels at Torchmark. The average producing agent count during the quarter was 6,874, up 4% from a year ago, and down 2% from the previous quarter. The producing agent count at the end of the fourth quarter was 6,870. Net life sales were $52 million, up 3%.
Globe Life Direct Response was Torchmark's second leading contributor to total underwriting margin ($32 million), on premium revenue of $209 million. Life premiums of $192 million were up 4% and the life underwriting margin was $29 million, down 21%. As a percentage of life premium, life underwriting margin was 15%, down from 20%. Net life sales were $34 million, down 7% from the year-ago quarter. Net health sales increased from $1.4 million to $2.0 million.
LNL Agency was Torchmark's third leading contributor to total underwriting margin ($30 million), on premium revenue of $117 million. Life premiums of $67 million were the same as the year-ago quarter and life underwriting margin was $19 million, down 4%. As a percentage of life premium, life underwriting margin was 28%, down from 29% from the year-ago quarter. Net life sales were $10 million, up 15%.
LNL Agency was Torchmark's third leading contributor to health underwriting margin ($11 million), on health premiums of $49 million. Health underwriting margin as a percentage of health premium was 22%, down from 23%. Net health sales were $5 million, approximately the same as the year-ago quarter.
LNL Agency's average producing agent count during the quarter was 1,781, up 16% over a year ago, and down 1% from the previous quarter. The producing agent count at the end of the fourth quarter was 1,758.
Family Heritage Agency was Torchmark's second leading contributor to health underwriting margin ($14 million) on health premiums of $61 million. Health underwriting margin as a percentage of health premium was 23%, up from 20%. The average producing agent count during the quarter was 947, up 8% from a year ago, and down 4% from the previous quarter. The producing agent count at the end of the fourth quarter was 909. Net health sales were $13 million, up 8% from the year-ago quarter.
UA Independent Agency was Torchmark's leading contributor to health underwriting margin ($15 million), on health premiums of $89 million. Health underwriting margin as a percentage of premium was 17%, down from 18%. Net health sales were $24 million, down 38%.
Administrative Expenses were $50 million, up 6% from the year-ago quarter. The ratio of administrative expenses to premium for continuing operations was approximately 6.4% and in line with expectations, compared to 6.3% for the year-ago quarter.
Note: Net sales (health and life) are calculated as the annualized premium issued, net of cancellations in the first 30 days after issue, except in the case of Globe Life Direct Response where net sales is annualized premium issued at the time the first full premium is paid after any introductory offer period has expired.
EXCESS INVESTMENT INCOME
Management uses excess investment income, a non-GAAP measure, as the measure to evaluate the performance of the investment segment. It is defined as net investment income less both the required interest attributable to net policy liabilities and the interest on debt. We also view excess investment income per diluted common share as an important and useful measure to evaluate performance of the investment segment as it takes into consideration our stock repurchase program.
Net investment income increased 6%, while average invested assets increased 7%. Required interest on net policy liabilities increased 5%, approximately the same as the increase in net policy liabilities. Interest expense on debt increased by 7%. The weighted average discount rate for the net policy liabilities was 5.6%, same as the year-ago quarter.
The composition of the investment portfolio at December 31, 2016 is as follows:
Fixed maturities at amortized cost by asset class as of December 31, 2016 are as follows:
The market value of Torchmark's fixed maturity portfolio was $15.2 billion, $1.1 billion higher than amortized cost of $14.2 billion. The $1.1 billion of net unrealized gains compares to $1.9 billion at September 30, 2016. Net unrealized gains were comprised of gross unrealized gains of $1.3 billion and gross unrealized losses of $216 million.
Torchmark is not a party to any derivatives contracts, including credit default swaps, and does not participate in securities lending.
At amortized cost, 95% of fixed maturities (95% at market value) were rated "investment grade." The fixed maturity portfolio earned an annual effective yield of 5.75% during the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 5.81% in the year-ago quarter.
Acquisitions of fixed maturity investments during the quarter totaled $607 million at cost. Comparable information for acquisitions of fixed maturity investments is as follows:
During the quarter, the Company repurchased 1.0 million shares of Torchmark Corporation common stock at a total cost of $71 million for an average share price of $68.60. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, the Company repurchased 5.2 million shares at an average share price of $59.78.
Torchmark's operations consist primarily of writing basic protection life and supplemental health insurance policies which generate strong and stable cash flows. Capital at the insurance companies is sufficient to support current operations.
EARNINGS GUIDANCE FOR THE YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2017:
Torchmark projects that net operating income from continuing operations per share will be in a range of $4.57 to $4.77 for the year ending December 31, 2017.
In this news release, Torchmark includes non-GAAP measures to enhance investors' understanding of management's view of the business. The non-GAAP measures are not a substitute for GAAP, but rather a supplement to increase transparency by providing broader perspective. Torchmark's definitions of non-GAAP measures may differ from other companies' definitions. More detailed financial information including various GAAP and non-GAAP measurements are located at www.torchmarkcorp.com on the Investors page under "Financial Reports."
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These prospective statements reflect management's current expectations, but are not guarantees of future performance. Accordingly, please refer to Torchmark's cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements, and the business environment in which the Company operates, contained in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, and any subsequent Forms 10-Q on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission and on the Company's website at www.torchmarkcorp.com on the Investors page. Torchmark specifically disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement because of new information, future developments or otherwise.
EARNINGS RELEASE CONFERENCE CALL WEBCAST:
Torchmark will provide a live audio webcast of its fourth quarter 2016 earnings release conference call with financial analysts at 11:00 a.m. (Eastern) tomorrow, February 2, 2017. Access to the live webcast and replay will be available at www.torchmarkcorp.com on the Investors/Calls and Meetings page, at the Conference Calls on the Web icon. Immediately following this press release, supplemental financial reports will be available before the conference call on the Investors page menu of the Torchmark website at "Financial Reports."
SOURCE Torchmark Corporation
For further information: Mike Majors, Vice President, Investor Relations, Torchmark Corporation, 3700 South Stonebridge Dr., P. O. Box 8080, McKinney, Texas 75070-8080, Phone: 972/569-3239, firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.torchmarkcorp.com
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