United Insurance Holdings Corp. (UIHC - Free Report) incurred fourth-quarter 2018 core loss of 2 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a core loss of 3 cents. Moreover, the bottom line came in against the core income of 77 cents per share from the prior-year quarter.
For 2018, United Insurance delivered core income of 38 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, the bottom plunged 59.1% from the previous year’s figure.
Moreover, total operating revenues of $731.6 million missed the consensus mark by 0.1% but grew 11.8% year over year.
Quarter in Detail
Operating revenues totaled $193.1 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.8%. The top line also improved 6.1% year over year.
Gross premiums written increased 15.7% year over year to $292.6 million in the quarter under review.
Net premiums earned rose 9.4% year over year to $181.7 million.
Investment income surged 41.6% to $7.5 million.
Loss and loss adjustment (LAE) expense escalated 69.4% to $122.2 million while LAE expense as a percentage of net earned premiums deteriorated 2380 basis points to 67.2% in the fourth quarter.
Operating and underwriting expenses jumped 34.2% to $11.6 million, attributable to higher agent incentive costs from the company’s new contingent commission program.
Underlying combined ratio of 81.2% improved 630 basis points in the period under discussion.
Cash and cash equivalents of $112.7 million as of Dec 31, 2018 were down 50.9% from the level at year-end 2017. Total shareholders’ equity of $540.4 million as of Dec 31, 2018 inched up 0.6% from the level as of Dec 31, 2017.
Book value per share was $12.10 as of Dec 31, 2018, down 3.7% from the figure at year-end 2017.
Core return on equity for the year ended Dec 31, 2018, came in at 3.1%, which contracted 460 basis points from the 2017-end level.
During the fourth quarter, the board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of 6 cents per share to shareholders of record on Nov 20, 2018. The amount was paid on Nov 27, 2018.
United Insurance carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performance of Other P&C Insurers
Among other players from the same space having reported fourth-quarter earnings so far, the bottom-line numbers of MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG - Free Report) and RLI Corp. (RLI - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate while that of The Progressive Corp. (PGR - Free Report) lagged the same.
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