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First Acceptance Corporation Reports Operating Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Acceptance Corporation (NYSE:FAC) today reported its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017.

Operating Results

Revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2017 decreased 9% to $88.1 million from $96.9 million in the same period in the prior year.

Income before income taxes, for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was $1.6 million, compared with a loss before income taxes of $8.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2016. Net income for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was $0.7 million, compared with a net loss of $5.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2016.

Basic and diluted net income per share were $0.02 for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared with a basic and diluted net loss per share of $0.13 for the same period in the prior year. 

For the three months ended March 31, 2017, we recognized $0.5 million of favorable prior period loss and LAE development, and for the three months ended March 31, 2016, we recognized $10.3 million of unfavorable prior period loss and LAE development.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Ken Russell, commented “The Company’s net income for the recent quarter marks what we anticipate will be the start of our return to consistent profitability. We believe that the recent efforts undertaken by our team to improve risk management and the quality and efficiency of our claims handling resulted in the reduced loss ratio behind these positive results. It was encouraging to see our premium production for the pivotal first quarter push through barriers stemming from rate increases, underwriting actions and store closures. I view the results achieved this quarter as confirmation that our focus on maintaining appropriate risk-adjusted premiums is the foundation for attaining our business objectives.”

Mr. Russell further commented “Looking ahead, in addition to a continued focus on the fundamentals of our core non-standard personal automobile insurance business, we have other exciting initiatives underway. An effort has been made to enhance the contribution of our Western Division (formerly Titan) agency stores by offering additional commissionable third party ancillary products to their customers. Likewise, we are expanding the availability of commissionable third party personal non-automobile insurance products (e.g. commercial auto, homeowners and motorcycle) in the legacy retail locations that sell Acceptance auto insurance. Additionally, we are refocusing our traditional marketing efforts with an eye towards an expanded social media presence. Our digital presence continues to broaden and on-line sales are becoming a larger component of our combined distribution channels.”

Loss Ratio. The loss ratio was 80.6% for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared with 96.1% for the three months ended March 31, 2016. We experienced favorable development related to prior periods of $0.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared with unfavorable development of $10.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2016. The favorable development for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was primarily the result of favorable LAE development related to bodily injury claims over multiple prior accident periods, partially offset by some unfavorable development related to bodily injury severity. The unfavorable development for the three months ended March 31, 2016 was the result of an increase in losses across all major coverages and over multiple prior accident periods. The primary causes of the unfavorable development were a sharp increase in bodily injury severity and a greater than usual amount of subsequent payments on previously closed claims.

Excluding the development related to prior periods, the loss ratio for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was 81.4% as compared with 88.2% for the preceding three months ended December 31, 2016. We believe that this 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 $6.6 million, or 9%, to $69.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, from $76.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2016. This decrease was the result of a targeted decline in new policies written to eliminate unprofitable business through store closures, rate increases and the tightening of underwriting standards. These actions resulted in a 21% decrease in our year-over-year policies in force which was partially offset by a 16% year-over-year increase in our average in-force premium that was driven by our recent rate actions.         

Commission and fee income decreased by $2.4 million, or 12%, to $17.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, from $19.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2016. This decrease was 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.

Expense Ratio. The expense ratio was 16.6% for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared with 14.3% for the three months ended March 31, 2016. The year-over-year increase in the expense ratio was 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.

Combined Ratio. Overall, the combined ratio decreased to 97.2% for the three months ended March 31, 2017 from 110.4% for the three months ended March 31, 2016.

Next Release of Financial Results

We currently plan to report our financial results for the three and six months ending June 30, 2017 on August 9, 2017.

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 actively generate revenues from selling non-standard personal automobile insurance policies and related products in 16 states. We currently conduct our servicing and underwriting operations in 13 states and are licensed as an insurer in 13 additional states. Non-standard personal automobile insurance is made available to 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 March 31, 2017, we leased and operated 355 retail locations and a call center staffed with employee-agents. Our employee-agents primarily sell non-standard personal automobile insurance products underwritten by us, as well as certain commissionable ancillary products. In most states, our employee-agents also sell a complementary insurance product providing personal property and liability coverage for renters underwritten by us. In addition, retail locations in some markets offer non-standard personal automobile insurance serviced and underwritten by other third-party insurance carriers for which we receive a commission. 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.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements made other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. You can identify these statements from our use of the words “may,” “should,” “could,” “potential,” “continue,” “plan,” “forecast,” “estimate,” “project,” “believe,” “intent,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “target,” “is likely,” “will,” “view,” or the negative of these terms and similar expressions. 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, 2016 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 Comprehensive Income (Loss)
 
(unaudited)  
     
  Three Months Ended  
  March 31,  
  2017     2016  
Revenues:              
Premiums earned $ 69,813     $ 76,407  
Commission and fee income   17,228       19,581  
Investment income   1,033       962  
Net realized losses on investments, available-for-sale   (5 )     (2 )
    88,069       96,948  
Costs and expenses:              
Losses and loss adjustment expenses   56,280       73,419  
Insurance operating expenses   28,056       29,647  
Other operating expenses   271       280  
Stock-based compensation   39       37  
Depreciation   546       651  
Amortization of identifiable intangibles assets   203       238  
Interest expense   1,098       1,050  
    86,493       105,322  
Income (loss) before income taxes   1,576       (8,374 )
Provision (benefit) for income taxes   846       (2,869 )
Net income (loss) $ 730     $ (5,505 )
Net income (loss) per share:              
Basic $ 0.02     $ (0.13 )
Diluted $ 0.02     $ (0.13 )
Number of shares used to calculate net income (loss) per share:              
Basic   41,160       41,060  
Diluted   41,181       41,060  
Reconciliation of net income (loss) to other comprehensive income (loss):              
Net income (loss) $ 730     $ (5,505 )
Net unrealized change in investments, net of tax of $236 and $911, respectively   438       1,691  
Comprehensive income (loss) $ 1,168     $ (3,814 )


FIRST ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands, except per share data)
           
  March 31,     December 31,  
  2017     2016  
  (Unaudited)          
ASSETS              
Investments, available-for-sale at fair value (amortized cost of $117,619 and $ 117,431     $ 117,212  
  $117,902, respectively)
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash   120,496       118,681  
Premiums, fees, and commissions receivable, net of allowance of $309 and   90,251       66,393  
  $279, respectively
Deferred tax assets, net   34,761       35,641  
Other investments   10,140       9,994  
Other assets   5,944       6,078  
Property and equipment, net   3,789       4,213  
Deferred acquisition costs   5,869       4,852  
Goodwill   29,384       29,384  
Identifiable intangible assets, net   7,433       7,626  
TOTAL ASSETS $ 425,498     $ 400,074  
               
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY              
Loss and loss adjustment expense reserves $ 156,410     $ 161,079  
Unearned premiums and fees   106,877       78,861  
Debentures payable   40,313       40,302  
Term loan from principal stockholder   29,786       29,779  
Accrued expenses   5,566       7,089  
Other liabilities   12,851       10,476  
Total liabilities   351,803       327,586  
Stockholders’ equity:              
Preferred stock, $.01 par value, 10,000 shares authorized          
Common stock, $.01 par value, 75,000 shares authorized; 41,160 issued and outstanding   412       412  
Additional paid-in capital   457,789       457,750  
Accumulated other comprehensive income, net of tax of $(873) and $(1,110), respectively   1,754       1,316  
Accumulated deficit   (386,260 )     (386,990 )
  Total stockholders’ equity   73,695       72,488  
  TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY $ 425,498     $ 400,074  


FIRST ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
Supplemental Data
(Unaudited)
           
PREMIUMS EARNED BY STATE            
    Three Months Ended  
    March 31,  
    2017     2016  
Gross premiums earned:                
Georgia   $ 16,261     $ 15,057  
Florida     10,251       11,609  
Texas     8,544       10,617  
Alabama     7,454       6,764  
Ohio     7,305       7,596  
South Carolina     4,950       6,594  
Tennessee     4,748       4,881  
Illinois     4,207       5,740  
Indiana     2,318       2,277  
Pennsylvania     2,251       2,418  
Mississippi     963       995  
California     314        
Missouri     242       1,753  
Virginia     110       214  
Total gross premiums earned     69,918       76,515  
Premiums ceded to reinsurer     (105 )     (108 )
 Total net premiums earned   $ 69,813     $ 76,407  
COMBINED RATIOS (INSURANCE OPERATIONS)         
    Three Months Ended  
    March 31,  
    2017     2016  
Loss     80.6 %     96.1 %
Expense     16.6 %     14.3 %
Combined     97.2 %     110.4 %
NUMBER OF RETAIL LOCATIONS           
Retail location counts are based upon the date that a location commenced or ceased writing business. 
                 
    Three Months Ended  
    March 31,  
    2017     2016  
Retail locations – beginning of period     355       440  
Opened           2  
Closed           (28 )
Retail locations – end of period     355       414  


FIRST ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
Supplemental Data (continued)
(Unaudited)
 
RETAIL LOCATIONS BY STATE                   
  March 31,   December 31,
  2017   2016   2016   2015
Alabama   23     24     23     24
Arizona   10     10     10     10
California   47     48     47     48
Florida   34     39     34     39
Georgia   50     60     50     60
Illinois   39     39     39     61
Indiana   16     17     16     17
Mississippi   6     7     6     7
Missouri       9         9
Nevada   4     4     4     4
New Mexico   5     5     5     5
Ohio   27     27     27     27
Pennsylvania   11     14     11     14
South Carolina   15     23     15     24
Tennessee   23     23     23     23
Texas   45     65     45     68
Total   355     414     355     440
INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT:
Michael J. Bodayle
615.844.2885

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