Amerisafe 1Q 2009 Results

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMSF), a provider of high hazard workers' compensation insurance, announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009.

Net income in the first quarter of 2009 was $11.1 million compared to $11.9 million in the first quarter of 2008, a decrease of 7.2%. Pre-tax income for the first quarter of 2009 included $1.2 million of favorable prior year loss development. Pre-tax income for the first quarter of 2008 included $1.7 million of favorable prior year development. Return on average equity for the first quarter of 2009 was 15.7% compared to 20% for the first quarter of 2008.

Gross premiums written in the first quarter of 2009 were $79.4 million, a decrease of 1.9%, compared to $81 million in the first quarter of 2008. The decrease was the result of audit adjustments for policies written in prior periods, offset by an increase in voluntary premiums for policies written in the quarter. Net investment income was $7.4 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared to $7.8 million for the first quarter of 2008. First quarter revenues totaled $77.5 million, a decrease of 5.8%, compared to revenues of $82.3 million in the prior year period.

In the first quarter of 2009, diluted earnings per share allocable to common shareholders were $0.54 compared to $0.59 in the 2008 first quarter. Weighted average diluted shares outstanding for the first quarter of 2009 totaled 19,234,910 shares compared to 19,019,373 shares in the first quarter of 2008.
The net combined ratio for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 was 88.6% compared to 87.1% for the same period in 2008. Loss and loss adjustment expenses for the first quarter of 2009 were $47.1 million, or 67.2% of net premiums earned, compared to $49.9 million, or 67.2% of net premiums earned, for the first quarter of 2008. Total underwriting expenses for the first quarter of 2009 were $14.8 million, or 21.1% of net premiums earned, compared to $14.5 million, or 19.5% of net premiums earned, for the first quarter of 2008.

Commenting on these results, Allen Bradley, Amerisafe's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our results for the first quarter were in line with our expectations and were remarkable given the current economic environment. Our ability to produce these results is due to our continued focus on underwriting and risk selection, claims administration and expense management. As we announced last week, A. M. Best has reaffirmed our 'A-' (Excellent) rating and upgraded our rating outlook to 'positive' from 'stable.' We believe AMERISAFE is well positioned to capitalize on disruptions in our market and to take advantage of opportunities when economic conditions begin to improve."

Amerisafe's overall financial objective is to produce a return on equity of at least 15% over the long-term while maintaining optimal operating leverage in its insurance subsidiaries that is commensurate with the its A. M. Best rating of "A-" (Excellent).

(www.amerisafe.com)

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