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First Acceptance Corporation Reports Operating Results for the Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Acceptance Corporation (NYSE:FAC) today reported its financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017.

Operating Results

Income before income taxes for the three months ended December 31, 2017 was $3.1 million, compared with loss before income taxes of $5.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016. Net loss for the three months ended December 31, 2017 was $10.4 million, compared with net loss of $3.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016. For the three months ended December 31, 2017, we recognized $4.3 million of favorable prior period loss development, compared with unfavorable development of $2.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016.

Income before income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $6.6 million, compared with loss before income taxes of $45.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $8.6 million, compared with net loss of $29.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we recognized $2.3 million of favorable prior period loss development, compared with unfavorable development of $30.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The year ended December 31, 2017 was also unfavorably impacted by $2.4 million in catastrophic claims losses during the third quarter. Conversely, the year ended December 31, 2016 was favorably impacted by a $1.2 million gain on the sale of foreclosed real estate along with net realized gains on investments of $4.8 million from the sales of fixed maturities that were sold to increase the statutory capital and surplus of our insurance company subsidiaries. 

The provision for income taxes for the three months and year ended December 31, 2017 includes a reduction in the deferred tax asset of $12.5 million as a result of the enactment of legislation to reduce the corporate income tax rate.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Ken Russell, commented, “Following the unprecedented underwriting losses in 2016 that impacted the automobile insurance industry, over the last 18 months, the Company held its focus on returning to profitability by improving pricing and risk management and strengthening its core business fundamentals. While higher rates and stricter underwriting meant less revenues, our 14% decline in policies-in-force since the beginning of the year, was partially offset by a 10% increase in our average in-force premium. Bolstered by improved claims-handling, these changes contributed to a 2017 accident year loss ratio of 80.2% (79.3% adjusted for the September catastrophic claims losses) which marked a significant improvement from 91.8% in 2016. All said, these efforts resulted in the Company exceeding its profitability goals set for 2017.”

Mr. Russell further added “2017 was also a year for the Company to evaluate and better leverage the strengths of its retail operations. In doing so, we began to expand the offerings in our stores of additional commissionable products written through other carriers for both personal automobile and non-personal automobile coverages, including homeowners, renters, motorcycle, life and commercial automobile. Now, as we become better equipped as both an insurer and an agency, I look towards 2018 with great optimism and thank all of our stockholders for their patience and support through this transitionary time.”

Loss Ratio. The loss ratio was 73.9% for the three months ended December 31, 2017, compared with 91.9% for the three months ended December 31, 2016. The loss ratio was 79.4% for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared with 101.9% for the year ended December 31, 2016. We recognized favorable development related to prior periods of $4.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2017, compared with unfavorable development related to prior periods of $2.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we recognized $2.3 million of favorable prior period loss development, compared with unfavorable development of $30.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Excluding the development related to prior periods for the three months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, the loss ratios were 80.5% and 88.2%, respectively. Excluding the development related to prior fiscal years and the impact of the September 2017 hurricanes, the loss ratios for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 were 79.3% and 91.8%, respectively. We believe that the improvement in the loss ratio was the result of our aggressive rate and underwriting actions in addition to a moderate reduction in claims frequency.

Revenues. Premiums earned decreased by $3.5 million, or 5.1%, to $65.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2017, from $69.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2017 premiums earned decreased by $25.1 million, or 13.6%, to $278.2 million from $303.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. These decreases were the result of a targeted decline in new policies written through the closing of 53 poorly performing stores, increasing rates and the tightening of underwriting standards. These actions resulted in a 14% decrease in our year-over-year policies in force which was partially offset by a 10% year-over-year increase in our average in-force premium that was driven by our recent rate actions. The estimated effective rate increases attained over the last 18 and 12 months were 16% and 2%, respectively.

Commission and fee income decreased by $2.5 million, or 14.3%, to $15.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2017, from $17.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2016. Commission and fee income decreased by $11.0 million, or 14.6%, to $64.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, from $75.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. These decreases were primarily the result of a decrease in monthly billing fees as a result of the previously-mentioned decline in the number of policies in force. Additionally, we earned less commission as a result of a decline in the renewals of automobile insurance policies sold in California on behalf of third-party carriers.

Expense Ratio. The expense ratio was 20.9% for the three months ended December 31, 2017, compared with 15.7% for the three months ended December 31, 2016. The expense ratio was 17.8% for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared with 14.6% for the year ended December 31, 2016. These year-over-year increases in the expense ratio were primarily due to the decrease in premiums earned which resulted in a higher percentage of fixed expenses and the previously-mentioned decline in commission and fee income, which is a component of the expense ratio.

Combined Ratio. The combined ratio decreased to 94.8% for the three months ended December 31, 2017 from 107.6% for the three months ended December 31, 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2017, the combined ratio decreased to 97.2% from 116.5% for the year ended December 31, 2016.

About First Acceptance Corporation

We are principally a retailer, servicer and underwriter of non-standard personal automobile insurance based in Nashville, Tennessee. Our insurance operations generate revenue from selling non-standard personal automobile insurance products and related products in 16 states. We currently conduct our insurance servicing and underwriting operations in 13 states and operate only as an insurance agency in three states. We are also licensed as an insurance company in 13 states where we do not conduct any business. Non-standard personal automobile insurance is sought after by individuals because of their inability or unwillingness to obtain standard insurance coverage due to various factors, including payment history, payment preference, failure in the past to maintain continuous insurance coverage or driving record and/or vehicle type.

At December 31, 2017, we leased and operated 350 retail locations and a call center staffed with employee-agents. Our employee-agents primarily sell non-standard personal automobile insurance products underwritten by us and through third-party carriers for which we receive a commission. We also offer a variety of additional commissionable products, and, in most states, our employee-agents also sell an insurance product providing personal property and liability coverage for renters that is underwritten by us. In addition to our retail locations, we are able to complete the entire sales process over the phone via our call center or through the internet via our consumer-based website or mobile platform. On a limited basis, we also sell our products through selected retail locations operated by independent agents. Additional information about First Acceptance Corporation can be found online at www.acceptance.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the expected effects of the recently completed acquisition. These statements, which have been included in reliance on the “safe harbor” provisions of the federal securities laws, involve risks and uncertainties. Investors are hereby cautioned that these statements may be affected by important factors, including, among others, the factors set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in Item 1A. of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual operations and results may differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

             
FIRST ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except per share data)
             
    Three Months Ended     Year Ended  
    December 31,     December 31,  
    2017     2016     2017     2016  
Revenues:                                
Premiums earned   $ 65,775     $ 69,331     $ 278,221     $ 303,328  
Commission and fee income     14,978       17,541       64,581       75,596  
Investment income     1,304       854       4,719       4,649  
Gain on sale of foreclosed real estate                       1,237  
Net realized (losses) gains on investments, available-for-sale
  (includes $4,745 of accumulated other comprehensive loss
  reclassification for net unrealized gains in 2016)
    (3 )     80       (3 )     4,813  
      82,054       87,806       347,518       389,623  
Costs and expenses:                                
Losses and loss adjustment expenses     48,622       63,740       220,785       309,002  
Insurance operating expenses     28,062       27,609       111,323       116,510  
Other operating expenses     311       287       1,133       1,219  
                                 
Stock-based compensation     99       43       299       207  
Depreciation     465       606       2,068       2,540  
Amortization of identifiable intangible assets     195       239       789       956  
Interest expense     1,161       1,106       4,535       4,319  
      78,915       93,630       340,932       434,753  
Income (loss) before income taxes     3,139       (5,824 )     6,586       (45,130 )
Provision (benefit) for income taxes     13,568       (2,277 )     15,190       (15,848 )
Net loss   $ (10,429 )   $ (3,547 )   $ (8,604 )   $ (29,282 )
Net loss per share:                                
Basic   $ (0.25 )   $ (0.09 )   $ (0.21 )   $ (0.71 )
Diluted   $ (0.25 )   $ (0.09 )   $ (0.21 )   $ (0.71 )
Number of shares used to calculate net loss per share:                                
Basic     41,200       41,041       41,286       41,085  
Diluted     41,200       41,041       41,286       41,085  
                                 


       
FIRST ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands, except per share data)
       
    December 31,  
    2017     2016  
ASSETS                
Investments, available-for-sale at fair value (amortized cost of $129,742 and $117,902,
  respectively)
  $ 129,945     $ 117,212  
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash     115,477       118,681  
Premiums, fees, and commissions receivable, net of allowance of $275 and $279     69,624       66,393  
Deferred tax assets, net     20,549       35,641  
Other investments     9,750       9,994  
Other assets     6,438       6,078  
Property and equipment, net     2,888       4,213  
Deferred acquisition costs     4,947       4,852  
Goodwill     29,384       29,384  
Identifiable intangible assets, net     6,857       7,626  
TOTAL ASSETS   $ 395,859     $ 400,074  
                 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY                
Loss and loss adjustment expense reserves   $ 159,130     $ 161,079  
Unearned premiums and fees     82,620       78,861  
Debentures payable     40,348       40,302  
Term loan from principal stockholder     29,805       29,779  
Accrued expenses     5,975       7,089  
Other liabilities     13,224       10,476  
Total liabilities     331,102       327,586  
Stockholders’ equity:                
Preferred stock, $.01 par value, 10,000 shares authorized            
Common stock, $.01 par value, 75,000 shares authorized; 41,235 and 41,160 issued and
  outstanding, respectively
    413       412  
Additional paid-in capital     458,124       457,750  
Accumulated other comprehensive income, net of tax of $(990) and $(1,110), respectively     1,900       1,316  
Accumulated deficit     (395,680 )     (386,990 )
  Total stockholders’ equity     64,757       72,488  
  TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY   $ 395,859     $ 400,074  
                 


             
FIRST ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
Supplemental Data
(Unaudited)
             
PREMIUMS EARNED BY STATE            
    Three Months Ended     Year Ended  
    December 31,     December 31,  
    2017     2016     2017     2016  
Gross premiums earned:                                
Georgia   $ 16,811     $ 15,660     $ 67,313     $ 63,332  
Florida     9,025       10,571       40,058       45,880  
Alabama     8,382       6,970       32,591       28,163  
Texas     6,697       8,869       31,057       41,154  
Ohio     6,298       7,118       28,162       30,376  
Tennessee     5,366       4,500       20,649       19,330  
South Carolina     4,276       4,851       19,234       25,515  
Illinois     2,613       4,495       13,978       20,733  
Indiana     2,359       2,250       9,546       9,244  
Pennsylvania     2,285       2,219       9,263       9,618  
Mississippi     1,098       869       4,272       3,872  
California     565       217       1,795       316  
Missouri     28       704       368       5,397  
Virginia     72       148       360       848  
Total gross premiums earned     65,875       69,441       278,646       303,778  
Premiums ceded to reinsurer     (100 )     (110 )     (425 )     (450 )
 Total net premiums earned   $ 65,775     $ 69,331     $ 278,221     $ 303,328  
                                 

COMBINED RATIOS (INSURANCE OPERATIONS)

             
    Three Months Ended     Year Ended  
    December 31,     December 31,  
    2017     2016     2017     2016  
Loss     73.9 %     91.9 %     79.4 %     101.9 %
Expense     20.9 %     15.7 %     17.8 %     14.6 %
Combined     94.8 %     107.6 %     97.2 %     116.5 %
                                 

NUMBER OF RETAIL LOCATIONS

Retail location counts are based upon the date that a location commenced or ceased writing business.

             
    Three Months Ended     Year Ended  
    December 31,     December 31,  
    2017     2016     2017     2016  
Retail locations – beginning of period     350       369       355       440  
Opened                       4  
Acquired                        
Closed           (14 )     (5 )     (89 )
Retail locations – end of period     350       355       350       355  
                                 


             
FIRST ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
Supplemental Data (continued)
(Unaudited)
             
RETAIL LOCATIONS BY STATE            
             
    December 31,     September 30,  
    2017     2016     2015     2017     2016  
Alabama     23       23       24       23       23  
Arizona     10       10       10       10       10  
California     46       47       48       46       47  
Florida     34       34       39       34       34  
Georgia     49       50       60       49       53  
Illinois     37       39       61       37       39  
Indiana     16       16       17       16       16  
Mississippi     6       6       7       6       6  
Missouri                 9             6  
Nevada     4       4       4       4       4  
New Mexico     5       5       5       5       5  
Ohio     27       27       27       27       27  
Pennsylvania     11       11       14       11       11  
South Carolina     15       15       24       15       20  
Tennessee     22       23       23       22       23  
Texas     45       45       68       45       45  
Total     350       355       440       350       369  
                                         

INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT: 
Michael J. Bodayle 
615.844.2885

 

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Source: First Acceptance Corporation