Radian Group Inc.’s (RDN - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2018 operating income of 70 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.1%. The bottom line also improved 37% year over year. The company benefited from solid performance of its Mortgage Insurance segment along with higher premiums. It continued to grow its insurance in force portfolio, a major catalyst for future earnings.
The fourth quarter proved to be excellent for the company as it witnessed growth in net income, mortgage insurance in force, net operating return on equity as well as book value per share.
Behind the Headlines
Operating revenues grew 8.9% year over year to $305 million, courtesy of higher net premiums, investment income as well as other income. Total revenues (including services revenues and net loss on investments and other financial instruments) were $331.5 million, up nearly 4.3% year over year.
Total net premiums earned were $261.7 million, up 6.7% year over year.
New mortgage insurance written declined 11% year over year to $12.7 billion (on a flow basis) in the quarter under review. As of Dec 31, 2018, total primary mortgage insurance in force was $221.4 billion, up 10% from $200.7 billion as of Dec 31, 2017.
The company expects to write new MI business of about $50 billion in 2019.
Persistency — percentage of mortgage insurance in force that remains in the company’s books after a 12-month period — was 85.5% as of Dec 31, 2018, up 610 basis points year over year.
Primary delinquent loans were 21,093 as of Dec 31, 2018, down 24% year over year.
Total expenses increased 1.2% year over year to $155 million, primarily on the back of higher policy acquisition costs, cost of services and other operating expenses, interest expense and amortization and impairment of other acquired intangible assets.
Radian Group Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Full Year Highlights
Operating income of $2.69 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.76. The bottom line also improved 48% year over year.
Operating revenues grew 8% year over year to $1.3 billion.
New mortgage insurance written grew 5% year over year to $56.5 billion. Persistency was 83.1% as of Dec 31, 2018, up from 81.1% as of Dec 31, 2017.
Net premiums earned by Mortgage Insurance segment were $259.7 million, up nearly 5.9% year over year. Claims paid were $39.7 million in the quarter under review, down 53.6% year over year. Loss ratio improved 400 basis points to 10.4%.
The Mortgage and Real Estate Services segment reported a 2% year-over-year dip in total revenues to $41.5 million. Pre-tax operating loss of $5.2 million was wider than the year-ago quarter’s loss of $5 million.
Restructuring and other exit cost were $0.1 million in the reported quarter.
As of Dec 31, 2018, Radian Group had a solid cash balance of $107 million, up 11.2% year over year.
Long-term debt was $1 billion, up 0.4% year over year.
Book value per share, a measure of net worth, grew 18% year over year to $16.34 as of Dec 31, 2018.
Adjusted net operating return on equity expanded 420 basis points year over year in 2018.
Risk to capital ratio-Mortgage Insurance as on 2018 end was 12.8:1 versus 12.1:1 from year ago end.
Radian Group sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Performance of Other Insurers
Among the other players from the insurance industry that have reported fourth-quarter earnings so far MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG - Free Report) and RLI Corp. (RLI - Free Report) outpaced the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings while The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) missed expectations.
Is Your Investment Advisor Fumbling Your Financial Future?
See how you can more effectively safeguard your retirement with a new Special Report, “4 Warning Signs Your Investment Advisor Might Be Sabotaging Your Financial Future.”
Click to get it free >>