CONTACT: Todd Pozefsky
WHITE MOUNTAINS REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
HAMILTON, Bermuda (May 6, 2019) - White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM) reported book value per share of $981 and adjusted book value per share of $979 as of March 31, 2019. Book value per share
and adjusted book value per share were each up 10% for the quarter, including dividends.
On February 26, 2019, MediaAlpha completed the sale of a significant minority stake to Insignia Capital Group in connection with a recapitalization and cash distribution to existing equityholders. As of December 31, 2018,
including the then estimated net gain of $55 per share from the MediaAlpha transaction, book value per share would have been approximately $951 and adjusted book value per share would have been approximately $943.
Manning Rountree, CEO, commented, “We are off to a good start in 2019. In the first quarter, underlying growth in ABVPS, excluding the MediaAlpha transaction, was 4%(1), driven by strong investment results. We closed the MediaAlpha transaction in February and are excited about the next stage of value creation at the company. BAM’s par insured volume was up year over year, in both the primary and secondary markets, although primary market pricing dipped. NSM grew organically during the quarter and, in April, closed its acquisition of Embrace Pet Insurance. Also in April, we closed our previously announced acquisition of Oaktree Capital Management’s interests in Kudu, bringing our total capital commitment to Kudu to $250 million. We ended the quarter with $1.2 billion of undeployed capital.”
Comprehensive income attributable to common shareholders was $284 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to comprehensive loss attributable to common shareholders of $48 million in the first quarter of 2018.
BAM’s gross written premiums and member surplus contributions collected were $16 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $11 million in the first quarter of 2018. BAM insured municipal bonds with par value of $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018, which was unusually low, as many issuers pulled forward planned first quarter 2018 issuance volume into late 2017 given the uncertainty around tax reform. Total pricing was 83 basis points in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 96 basis points in the first quarter of 2018. BAM’s total claims paying resources were $878 million at March 31, 2019, compared to $871 million at December 31, 2018 and $709 million at March 31, 2018.
Seán McCarthy, CEO of BAM, said, “Although fundamental market conditions were challenging, given the lower interest rates and tighter credit spreads, BAM’s par insured volume in the primary market was up 21% year over year, in line with growth in the municipal new-issue market. There was strong investor demand for BAM’s guaranty in the secondary market, where total activity more than tripled year over year. Pricing dipped in the quarter, especially in the primary market, but risk adjusted pricing remained healthy. The BAM GreenStar assessment program is gaining traction. In the quarter, we closed 12 municipal transactions identified as “green bonds,” totaling $138 million of par, more than any other third-party verifier. We expect that volumes will continue to grow as issuers highlight for investors those bonds that finance projects with environmental benefits.”
(1) See “Regulation G” on page 12.
The following information was filed by White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd (WTM) on Monday, May 6, 2019 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.