Press Release

Everest Re Group Reports Record Quarter Net Income Earnings Per Share of $13.85; Full Year Return on Equity of 6%

HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 5, 2018-- Everest Re Group, Ltd. (NYSE: RE) today reported fourth quarter 2017 net income of $571.0 million, or $13.85 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $373.6 million, or $9.08 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2016. After-tax operating income1, excluding realized capital gains and losses and the tax charge related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), was $556.0 million, or $13.48 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to after-tax operating income¹ of $363.4 million, or $8.83 per diluted common share, for the same period last year.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, net income was $469.0 million, or $11.36 per diluted common share, compared to $996.3 million, or $23.68 per diluted common share, for 2016. After-tax operating income1, excluding realized capital gains and losses and the tax charge related to the enactment of the TCJA, was $375.4 million, or $9.10 per diluted common share, for the full year 2017, compared to $993.5 million or $23.61 per diluted common share, for 2016.

Commenting on the Company’s results, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dominic J. Addesso said, “Everest experienced an exceptional quarter with $556 million of net operating income, giving rise to a respectable year of earnings, despite 2017 being one of the most costly catastrophe loss years on record. The underlying results were quite strong with an attritional combined ratio for the year of 85.0%. More importantly is that all segments contributed to these positive results. For the full year, Everest generated a 6% ROE and reached a new milestone with premium of $7.2 billion.”

Operating highlights for the fourth quarter and full year 2017 included the following:

  • Gross written premiums for the quarter were $1.9 billion, an increase of 26% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. For the full year, gross written premiums grew 19% to $7.2 billion. Eliminating reinstatement premiums and the effects of foreign currency fluctuations, total premiums were actually up 16% for the year. Worldwide reinsurance premiums were up 17%, on this same basis, while direct insurance premiums were up 15% for the year.
  • The combined ratio was 70.0% for the quarter and 103.5% for the year, compared to 82.1% and 87.0%, respectively, for the same periods in 2016. The quarter benefitted from net prior year reserve releases of $262.1 million and a net reduction to prior period catastrophe loss estimates of $132.7 million, including a $102.7 million reduction in the catastrophe loss estimates for the third quarter 2017 events. This was offset by $161.5 million for catastrophe losses that occurred in the quarter, including both the Northern and Southern California wildfires. For the full year, catastrophe losses, net of reinstatement premiums, totaled $1.3 billion. Excluding catastrophe losses, reinstatement premiums and favorable prior year loss development, the calendar year attritional combined ratio was 85.0% compared to 85.5% for 2016.
  • Net investment income amounted to $149.1 million for the quarter and $542.9 million for the full year 2017, up 15% over the full year 2016 results.
  • Net after-tax realized capital gains totaled $23.2 million in the quarter. For the full year, realized capital gains, net of tax, amounted to $101.8 million, while unrealized capital losses, net of tax, were $71.3 million.
  • Cash flow from operations was $118.5 million for the quarter and $1.2 billion for the full year 2017. This compared to $422.9 million and $1.4 billion for the same periods, respectively, in 2016.
  • For the year, the after-tax operating income1 return on average adjusted shareholders’ equity2 was 4.6%.
  • The enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) resulted in a charge of $8.2 million in the quarter, or $0.20 per diluted common share. Additionally, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has proposed a change in accounting standards that, if adopted, would require certain income tax effects of the TCJA to be reclassified from other comprehensive income (OCI) to retained earnings. If the FASB adopts that proposal prior to the filing of the Company’s Form 10-K, the Company intends to “early adopt” the updated accounting standard and reflect it in the financial statements filed with its Form 10-K, resulting in an estimated $1.3 million decline in OCI with a corresponding increase in retained earnings. Further information about this proposed change in accounting standards is available in the Company’s Form 8-K filed in connection with this news release.
  • During the quarter and for the full year, the Company purchased 236,493 shares for a total cost of $50 million. The repurchases were made pursuant to a share repurchase authorization, provided by the Company’s Board of Directors, under which there remains 1.8 million shares available.
  • Shareholders’ equity ended the year at $8.4 billion. Book value per share increased 4% from $197.45 at year-end 2016 to $204.95 at December 31, 2017.

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws. We intend these forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements in the U.S. Federal securities laws. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made on behalf of the Company. These risks and uncertainties include the impact of general economic conditions and conditions affecting the insurance and reinsurance industry, the adequacy of our reserves, our ability to assess underwriting risk, trends in rates for property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, competition, investment market fluctuations, trends in insured and paid losses, catastrophes, regulatory and legal uncertainties and other factors described in our latest Annual Report on Form 10-K. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Everest Re Group, Ltd. is a Bermuda holding company that operates through the following subsidiaries: Everest Reinsurance Company provides reinsurance to property and casualty insurers in both the U.S. and international markets. Everest Reinsurance (Bermuda), Ltd., including through its branch in the United Kingdom, provides reinsurance and insurance to worldwide property and casualty markets and reinsurance to life insurers. Everest Reinsurance Company (Ireland), dac. provides reinsurance to non-life insurers in Europe. Everest Insurance® refers to the primary insurance operations of Everest Re Group, Ltd., and its affiliated companies which offer property, casualty and specialty lines insurance on both an admitted and non-admitted basis in the U.S. and internationally. The Company also operates within the Lloyd's insurance market through Syndicate 2786. In addition, through Mt. Logan Re, Ltd., the Company manages segregated accounts, capitalized by the Company and third party investors that provide reinsurance for property catastrophe risks. Additional information on Everest Re Group companies can be found at the Group’s web site at www.everestregroup.com.

A conference call discussing the fourth quarter results will be held at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on February 6, 2018. The call will be available on the Internet through the Company’s web site or at www.streetevents.com.

Recipients are encouraged to visit the Company’s web site to view supplemental financial information on the Company’s results. The supplemental information is located at www.everestregroup.com in the “Financial Reports” section of the “Investor Center”. The supplemental financial information may also be obtained by contacting the Company directly.

________________________________________

1The Company generally uses after-tax operating income (loss), a non-GAAP financial measure, to evaluate its performance. After-tax operating income (loss) consists of net income (loss) excluding after-tax net realized capital gains (losses) and the tax charge related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) as the following reconciliation displays:

               
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts) 2017   2016 2017   2016
(unaudited) (unaudited)
 
Per Diluted Per Diluted Per Diluted Per Diluted
Common Common Common Common
Amount   Share Amount   Share Amount   Share Amount   Share
 
Net income (loss) $ 571,025 $ 13.85 $ 373,572 $ 9.08 $ 468,968 $ 11.36 $ 996,344 $ 23.68
After-tax net realized capital gains (losses) 23,226 0.56 10,180 0.25 101,806 2.47 2,878 0.07
Impact of TCJA enactment   (8,246 )     (0.20 )   -     -   (8,246 )     (0.20 )   -     -
 
After-tax operating income (loss) $ 556,045     $ 13.48   $ 363,392   $ 8.83 $ 375,408     $ 9.10   $ 993,466   $ 23.61
 
(Some amounts may not reconcile due to rounding.)
 

Although net realized capital gains (losses) are an integral part of the Company’s insurance operations, the determination of net realized capital gains (losses) is independent of the insurance underwriting process. The Company believes that the level of net realized capital gains (losses) for any particular period is not indicative of the performance of the underlying business in that particular period. Providing only a GAAP presentation of net income (loss) makes it more difficult for users of the financial information to evaluate the Company’s success or failure in its basic business, and may lead to incorrect or misleading assumptions and conclusions. The Company understands that the equity analysts who follow the Company focus on after-tax operating income (loss) in their analyses for the reasons discussed above. The Company provides after-tax operating income (loss) to investors so that they have what management believes to be a useful supplement to GAAP information concerning the Company’s performance.

2Adjusted shareholders’ equity excludes net after-tax unrealized (appreciation) depreciation of investments

--Financial Details Follow--

       
EVEREST RE GROUP, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
 
 
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)   2017     2016   2017   2016  
(unaudited) (unaudited)
REVENUES:
Premiums earned $ 1,657,187 $ 1,441,265 $ 5,937,840 $ 5,320,466
Net investment income 149,128 115,167 542,898 473,085
Net realized capital gains (losses):
Other-than-temporary impairments on fixed maturity securities (1,905 ) (465 ) (7,093 ) (31,595 )

Other-than-temporary impairments on fixed maturity securities transferred to other comprehensive income (loss)

- - - -
Other net realized capital gains (losses)   35,568     34,470     160,287     24,379  
Total net realized capital gains (losses) 33,663 34,005 153,194 (7,216 )
Net derivative gain (loss) 3,529 13,161 9,581 18,647
Other income (expense)   23,704     10,362     (35,442 )   (10,636 )
Total revenues   1,867,211     1,613,960     6,608,071     5,794,346  
 
CLAIMS AND EXPENSES:
Incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses 680,436 794,896 4,522,581 3,139,629
Commission, brokerage, taxes and fees 388,625 308,639 1,303,963 1,188,692
Other underwriting expenses 90,916 79,972 318,817 302,722
Corporate expenses 4,615 5,828 25,923 27,231
Interest, fees and bond issue cost amortization expense   7,314     9,034     31,603     36,228  
Total claims and expenses   1,171,906     1,198,369     6,202,887     4,694,502  
 
INCOME (LOSS) BEFORE TAXES 695,305 415,591 405,184 1,099,844
Income tax expense (benefit)   124,280     42,019     (63,784 )   103,500  
 
NET INCOME (LOSS) $ 571,025 $ 373,572 $ 468,968 $ 996,344
 
Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax:
Unrealized appreciation (depreciation) ("URA(D)") on securities arising during the period (83,093 ) (200,656 ) (64,348 ) 57,629
Reclassification adjustment for realized losses (gains) included in net income (loss)   9,779     (12,594 )   (6,950 )   15,118  
Total URA(D) on securities arising during the period (73,314 ) (213,250 ) (71,298 ) 72,747
 
Foreign currency translation adjustments (3,207 ) (72,980 ) 121,917 (55,341 )
 
Benefit plan actuarial net gain (loss) for the period 1,027 (7,488 ) 1,027 (7,488 )
Reclassification adjustment for amortization of net (gain) loss included in net income (loss)   100     1,124     5,477     5,073  
Total benefit plan net gain (loss) for the period   1,127     (6,364 )   6,504     (2,415 )
Total other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax   (75,394 )   (292,594 )   57,123     14,991  
 
COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS) $ 495,631   $ 80,978   $ 526,091   $ 1,011,335  
 
EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:
Basic $ 13.92 $ 9.14 $ 11.43 $ 23.85
Diluted 13.85 9.08 11.36 23.68
Dividends declared 1.30 1.25 5.05 4.70
 
   
EVEREST RE GROUP, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 
 
December 31,
(Dollars and share amounts in thousands, except par value per share) 2017 2016
(unaudited)
ASSETS:
Fixed maturities - available for sale, at market value $ 14,756,834 $ 14,107,408
(amortized cost: 2017, $14,689,598; 2016, $13,932,613)
Equity securities - available for sale, at market value (cost: 2017, $130,287; 2016, $129,553) 129,530 119,067
Equity securities - available for sale, at fair value 963,572 1,010,085
Short-term investments 509,682 431,478
Other invested assets (cost: 2017, $1,628,753; 2016, $1,333,069) 1,631,850 1,333,129
Cash   635,067     481,922  
Total investments and cash 18,626,535 17,483,089
Accrued investment income 97,704 96,473
Premiums receivable 1,844,881 1,485,990
Reinsurance receivables 1,348,226 1,018,325
Funds held by reinsureds 292,927 260,644
Deferred acquisition costs 411,587 344,052
Prepaid reinsurance premiums 288,211 191,768
Income taxes 299,438 177,704
Other assets   382,283     263,459  
TOTAL ASSETS $ 23,591,792   $ 21,321,504  
 
LIABILITIES:
Reserve for losses and loss adjustment expenses $ 11,884,321 $ 10,312,313
Future policy benefit reserve 51,014 55,074
Unearned premium reserve 2,000,556 1,577,546
Funds held under reinsurance treaties 18,030 21,278
Commission reserves 30,660 70,335
Other net payable to reinsurers 218,017 190,986
4.868% Senior notes due 6/1/2044 396,834 396,714
6.6% Long term notes due 5/1/2067 236,561 236,462
Accrued interest on debt and borrowings 2,727 3,537
Equity index put option liability 12,477 22,059
Unsettled securities payable 38,743 27,927
Other liabilities   332,620     331,877  
Total liabilities   15,222,560     13,246,108  
 
SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY:
Preferred shares, par value: $0.01; 50,000 shares authorized;
no shares issued and outstanding - -
Common shares, par value: $0.01; 200,000 shares authorized; (2017) 69,044
and (2016) 68,871 outstanding before treasury shares 691 689
Additional paid-in capital 2,165,768 2,140,783
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of deferred income tax expense
(benefit) of $8,105 at 2017 and $8,240 at 2016 (159,641 ) (216,764 )
Treasury shares, at cost; 28,208 shares (2017) and 27,972 shares (2016) (3,322,244 ) (3,272,244 )
Retained earnings   9,684,658     9,422,932  
Total shareholders' equity   8,369,232     8,075,396  
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY $ 23,591,792   $ 21,321,504  
 
   
EVEREST RE GROUP, LTD.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
 
 
Twelve Months Ended
December 31,
(Dollars in thousands) 2017 2016
(unaudited)
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:
Net income (loss) $ 468,968 $ 996,344
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Decrease (increase) in premiums receivable (338,335 ) (15,655 )
Decrease (increase) in funds held by reinsureds, net (31,104 ) 22,219
Decrease (increase) in reinsurance receivables (238,485 ) (202,950 )
Decrease (increase) in income taxes (114,521 ) 54,526
Decrease (increase) in prepaid reinsurance premiums (86,049 ) (32,455 )
Increase (decrease) in reserve for losses and loss adjustment expenses 1,376,321 545,967
Increase (decrease) in future policy benefit reserve (4,060 ) (3,836 )
Increase (decrease) in unearned premiums 401,174 (22,072 )
Increase (decrease) in other net payable to reinsurers 10,071 26,200
Increase (decrease) in losses in course of payment (105,371 ) (45,933 )
Change in equity adjustments in limited partnerships (82,713 ) (37,939 )
Distribution of limited partnership income 50,825 62,008
Change in other assets and liabilities, net (66,998 ) (45,605 )
Non-cash compensation expense 30,297 26,398
Amortization of bond premium (accrual of bond discount) 45,867 49,167
Net realized capital (gains) losses   (153,194 )   7,216  
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities   1,162,693     1,383,600  
 
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:
Proceeds from fixed maturities matured/called - available for sale, at market value 2,160,298 1,919,808
Proceeds from fixed maturities sold - available for sale, at market value 2,401,844 1,258,434
Proceeds from fixed maturities sold - available for sale, at fair value - 5,837
Proceeds from equity securities sold - available for sale, at market value 19,574 6,423
Proceeds from equity securities sold - available for sale, at fair value 631,859 723,359
Distributions from other invested assets 5,579,043 4,823,484
Proceeds from sale of subsidiary (net of cash disposed) - 47,721
Cost of fixed maturities acquired - available for sale, at market value (5,131,098 ) (4,061,896 )
Cost of fixed maturities acquired - available for sale, at fair value - (3,940 )
Cost of equity securities acquired - available for sale, at market value (22,033 ) (12,538 )
Cost of equity securities acquired - available for sale, at fair value (438,641 ) (346,929 )
Cost of other invested assets acquired (5,829,271 ) (5,396,001 )
Net change in short-term investments (73,923 ) 368,977
Net change in unsettled securities transactions   (30,229 )   9,388  
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities   (732,577 )   (657,873 )
 
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:
Common shares issued during the period for share-based compensation, net of expense (5,310 ) 10,751
Purchase of treasury shares (50,000 ) (386,288 )
Dividends paid to shareholders (207,242 ) (195,384 )
Cost of shares withheld for taxes on settlements of share-based compensation awards   (12,906 )   (10,595 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities   (275,458 )   (581,516 )
 
EFFECT OF EXCHANGE RATE CHANGES ON CASH   (1,513 )   54,053  
 
Net increase (decrease) in cash 153,145 198,264
Cash, beginning of period   481,922     283,658  
Cash, end of period $ 635,067   $ 481,922  
 
SUPPLEMENTAL CASH FLOW INFORMATION:
Income taxes paid (recovered) $ 53,743 $ 42,636
Interest paid 32,194 36,010
 

Source: Everest Re Group, Ltd.

Everest Global Services, Inc.
Elizabeth B. Farrell, 908-604-3169
Vice President, Investor Relations