Primerica Reports Fourth Quarter 2018 Results, 2019 Share Repurchase Authorization and Increase in Stockholder Dividend

By The Associated Press
Posted 4:15PM on Thursday 7th February 2019 ( 5 months ago )

DULUTH, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 7, 2019--Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018. Total revenues during the quarter of $487.3 million increased 10% compared to the same quarter in 2017. Net income during the quarter was $86.5 million, or $1.99 per diluted share, compared with net income of $168.4 million, or $3.72 per diluted share, during the fourth quarter of 2017. The fourth quarter of 2017 included a tax benefit of $95.5 million, or $2.11 per diluted share, to recognize the transition effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Reform). ROE for the fourth quarter of 2018 was 23.8%.

Adjusted operating revenues were $488.7 million, increasing 11% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted net operating income was $87.6 million and adjusted operating EPS was $2.01, increasing $15.4 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, respectively, year-over-year largely driven by a lower corporate tax rate in 2018. During the fourth quarter of 2018, the full-year tax expense related to the Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) component of Tax Reform was reduced from approximately $4 million to $0.7 million based on regulations released by the Department of Treasury in November 2018. This adjustment resulted in a benefit of $0.07 per diluted share. ROAE for the fourth quarter of 2018 was 24.0%.

Results for both the quarter and the full year reflect solid Term Life and Investment and Savings Products (ISP) performance. Comparing the year ended December 31, 2018 to the prior year, net premiums increased 13%, average ISP client asset values increased 9% and ISP sales increased 14%. Financial results also reflect the benefit of a lower corporate tax rate due to Tax Reform. During 2018, the Company repurchased $210 million of common stock and paid quarterly dividends totaling $44 million because of strong cash flows generated by the business.

“In 2018, we delivered double-digit revenue growth and maintained our commitment to capital deployment,” said Glenn Williams, Chief Executive Officer. “Our sales force remains focused on our mission to help middle-income families achieve financial security. To support this effort, we continue to improve our products and technology to enhance the client experience and expand distribution capabilities for our representatives. We enter 2019 with a renewed level of energy and anticipation for success during a year that includes our biennial convention.”

Fourth Quarter Distribution & Segment Results

Life Insurance Licensed Sales Force At year-end, there were 130,736 licensed life insurance representatives, which reflected an increase of 4% compared to December 31, 2017. During the fourth quarter of 2018, both recruits and new life licenses were down slightly year-over-year, reflecting normal fluctuations in momentum.

Term Life Insurance Revenues of $291.9 million during the fourth quarter increased 11% compared to the same quarter in 2017 and were driven by continued growth in net premiums. Persistency and benefits and claims levels were generally in line with the prior year’s fourth quarter, while insurance expenses increased $7.5 million. Approximately half of this increase was due to a premium and retaliatory tax benefit recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017 when Primerica Life Insurance Company changed its state of domicile. The remainder is attributable to supporting the growth of the business.

Term Life productivity for the quarter was 0.18 policies per life insurance licensed representative per month and remained within the historical range, although lower than recent levels. As a result, Term Life insurance policies issued declined 10% year-over-year.

Investment and Savings Products Revenues of $164.9 million increased $16.4 million, or 11%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Approximately $6 million of this amount reflects revisions to record-keeping platform contracts, which also resulted in a similar increase in operating expenses. The increase in sales-based revenues and expenses was higher than the related increase in revenue-generating product sales driven by continued strength in variable annuities and index annuities. The increase in asset-based revenues and expenses was due to continued growth in average client asset values, most notably in our managed accounts. During the quarter, average client asset values were $61.0 billion, increasing 2% compared to the prior year, and net client flows were $360 million. Canadian segregated fund DAC amortization increased $2.6 million year-over-year as markets were under pressure during the fourth quarter of 2018 in contrast to more favorable market conditions during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Corporate and Other Distributed Products Adjusted operating revenues were $31.8 million and adjusted operating losses before income taxes were $8.5 million. Net investment income increased 5%, reflecting a larger invested asset portfolio partly offset by lower portfolio yields. Compared to the same quarter last year, expenses increased due to higher employee-related costs and other corporate growth initiatives.

Taxes In the fourth quarter of 2018, the effective income tax rate was 19.8% During the fourth quarter, the full year tax expense related to the GILTI component of Tax Reform was reduced from $4 million to $0.7 million based on regulations released by the Department of Treasury in November. The full year 2019 operating effective income tax rate is expected to be relatively consistent with 2018 at approximately 23%.

Capital Primerica has a strong balance sheet and continues to be well-capitalized to meet future needs. Primerica Life Insurance Company’s statutory risk-based capital (RBC) ratio was estimated to be approximately 440% as of December 31, 2018.

Primerica’s strong capital generation enabled the Company’s Board of Directors to authorize the repurchase of up to $275 million of its common stock through June 30, 2020 (including $65 million that remained under the previous share repurchase program as of December 31, 2018) and approve a 36% increase in stockholder dividends to $0.34 per share payable on March 15, 2019 to stockholders of record as of February 20, 2019. The Company expects to repurchase $225 million of its common stock during 2019.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures We report financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). We also present adjusted direct premiums, other ceded premiums, adjusted operating revenues, adjusted operating income before income taxes, adjusted net operating income, adjusted stockholders’ equity and diluted adjusted operating earnings per share. Adjusted direct premiums and other ceded premiums are net of amounts ceded under coinsurance transactions that were executed concurrent with our initial public offering (IPO coinsurance transactions) for all periods presented. We exclude amounts ceded under the IPO coinsurance transactions in measuring adjusted direct premiums and other ceded premiums to present meaningful comparisons of the actual premiums economically maintained by the Company. Amounts ceded under the IPO coinsurance transactions will continue to decline over time as policies terminate within this block of business. Adjusted operating revenues, adjusted operating income before income taxes, adjusted net operating income, and diluted adjusted operating earnings per share exclude the impact of realized investment gains (losses) 1 and fair value mark-to-market (MTM) investment adjustments 2, including other-than-temporary impairments (OTTI), for all periods presented. We exclude realized investment gains (losses) and MTM investment adjustments in measuring these non-GAAP financial measures to eliminate period-over-period fluctuations that may obscure comparisons of operating results due to items such as the timing of recognizing gains (losses) and market pricing variations prior to an invested asset’s maturity or sale that are not directly associated with the Company’s insurance operations. In 2017, we excluded from adjusted net operating income and diluted adjusted operating earnings per share the one-time transition impact of provisional amounts recognized from Tax Reform to present meaningful and useful period-over-period comparisons that could be distorted by the historically infrequent tax law change. In 2018, we excluded from adjusted net operating income and diluted adjusted operating earnings per share the one-time transition impact of adjustments made to finalize the provisional amounts recognized from Tax Reform. Adjusted stockholders’ equity excludes the impact of net unrealized investment gains (losses) recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) for all periods presented. We exclude unrealized investment gains (losses) in measuring adjusted stockholders’ equity as unrealized gains (losses) from the Company’s available-for-sale securities are largely caused by market movements in interest rates and credit spreads that do not necessarily correlate with the cash flows we will ultimately realize when an available-for-sale security matures or is sold.

The definitions of these non-GAAP financial measures may differ from the definitions of similar measures used by other companies. Management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in making financial, operating and planning decisions and in evaluating the Company’s performance. Furthermore, management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures may provide users with additional meaningful comparisons between current results and results of prior periods as they are expected to be reflective of the core ongoing business. These measures have limitations, and investors should not consider them in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of the Company’s results as reported under GAAP. Reconciliations of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures are attached to this release.

____________________ 1 Beginning in the first quarter of 2018, MTM adjustments on investments held in equity securities are recognized in total revenues measured in accordance with GAAP as realized investment gains (losses) due to the adoption of Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-01. Accordingly, we excluded the impact of MTM adjustments on investments held in equity securities from adjusted operating revenues and other non-GAAP financial measures.

2 Beginning in the first quarter of 2018, the MTM adjustment on a deposit asset held in support of a 10% coinsurance agreement (the 10% deposit asset MTM) recognized under the deposit method of accounting for GAAP has been excluded from adjusted operating revenues and other non-GAAP financial measures. Prior year non-GAAP financial results have not been recast as the 10% deposit asset MTM in the prior year was not material.

Earnings Webcast Information Primerica will hold a webcast Friday, February 8, 2019 at 10:00 am EST, to discuss fourth quarter results. This release and a detailed financial supplement will be posted on Primerica’s website. Investors are encouraged to review these materials. To access the webcast go to at least 15 minutes prior to the event to register, download and install any necessary software.

A replay of the call will be available for approximately 30 days on Primerica’s website,

Forward-Looking Statements Except for historical information contained in this press release, the statements in this release are forward-looking and made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements contain known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results in future periods to differ materially from anticipated or projected results. Those risks and uncertainties include, among others, our failure to continue to attract and license new recruits, retain sales representatives or license or maintain the licensing of our sales representatives; changes to the independent contractor status of our sales representatives; our or our sales representatives’ violation of or non-compliance with laws and regulations or the failure to protect the confidentiality of client information; differences between our actual experience and our expectations regarding mortality, persistency, expenses and interests rates as reflected in the pricing for our insurance policies; the occurrence of a catastrophic event that causes a large number of premature deaths of our insureds; changes in federal and state legislation, including other legislation or regulation that affects our insurance and investment product businesses, our failure to meet RBC standards or other minimum capital and surplus requirements; a downgrade or potential downgrade in our insurance subsidiaries’ financial strength ratings or our senior debt ratings; the effects of credit deterioration and interest rate fluctuations on our invested asset portfolio; incorrectly valuing our investments; inadequate or unaffordable reinsurance or the failure of our reinsurers to perform their obligations; the failure of, or legal challenges to, the support tools we provide to our sales force; heightened standards of conduct or more stringent licensing requirements for our sales representatives; inadequate policies and procedures regarding suitability review of client transactions; the failure of our investment products to remain competitive with other investment options or the change to investment and savings products offered by key providers in a way that is not beneficial to our business; fluctuations in the performance of client assets under management; the inability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or make distributions; our inability to generate and maintain a sufficient amount of working capital; our non-compliance with the covenants of our senior unsecured debt; legal and regulatory investigations and actions concerning us or our sales representatives; the loss of key personnel; the failure of our information technology systems, breach of our information security or failure of our business continuity plan; and fluctuations in Canadian currency exchange rates . These and other risks and uncertainties affecting us are more fully described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available in the “Investor Relations” section of our website at Primerica assumes no duty to update its forward-looking statements as of any future date.

About Primerica, Inc. Primerica, Inc., headquartered in Duluth, GA, provides financial services to middle income households in North America. Primerica representatives educate their clients about how to better prepare for a more secure financial future by assessing their needs and providing appropriate solutions through term life insurance, which the Company underwrites, and mutual funds, annuities and other financial products, which are distributed primarily on behalf of third parties. Primerica insured approximately 5 million lives and have over 2 million client investment accounts at December 31, 2018. Primerica stock is included in the S&P MidCap 400 and the Russell 2000 stock indices and is traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRI.”

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CONTACT: Investor Contact:

Nicole Russell


Email:investorrelations@primerica.comMedia Contact:

Keith Hancock




SOURCE: Primerica, Inc.

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PUB: 02/07/2019 04:15 PM/DISC: 02/07/2019 04:15 PM

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