Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. (HALL - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2018 operating income of 24 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 26.3%. Moreover, the bottom line improved 71% year over year.
Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
The reported quarter witnessed better underwriting results at Standard Commercial and Personal segment. Solid pricing momentum in many product lines contributed to the 14% increase in gross premiums written.
Quarter in Detail
Operating revenues totaled $97 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.1%. Also, the top line increased 3.2% year over year.
Net premiums written increased 3% year over year to about $91.4 million in the period under discussion. Net premiums earned improved 3% to $91.9 million. This improvement was driven by a better performance at Specialty Commercial and Standard Commercial segment.
Net investment income was $4.4 million, down 1% from the year-ago quarter’s tally.
Total expenses increased 4.9% to $95.5 million.
Net combined ratio of 97.4% improved 120 basis points in the quarter under review.
Specialty Commercial: Net premiums earned came in at $67.7 million, increasing 9.3% year over year. Combined ratio deteriorated 110 bps to 94%.Standard Commercial: Net premiums earned $17.7 million improved 6.9% year over year. Combined ratio improved 310 bps to 98.5%.
Personal: Net premiums earned were $6.4 million, which dropped 69.3% year over year. Combined ratio improved 790 bps to 105.1%.
Cash and cash equivalents of $57.6 million as of Mar 31 2018 were down 14.7% from the level as of Dec 31, 2017. Total shareholders’ equity of $251.1 million as of Mar 31, 2018 was almost in line with the 2017-end level.
Book value per share was $13.85 as of Mar 31, 2018, down 5% from year-end 2017.
Operating cash outflow was $19.2 million in the first quarter compared with cash inflow of $8.8 million in the year-ago quarter.
Hallmark Financial carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performance of Other Insurers
Among other insurers having already reported first-quarter earnings, the bottom line of The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) and RLI Corp. (RLI - Free Report) outpaced the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate while that of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV - Free Report) missed the same.
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