Market Overview

FBL Financial Group Reports Fourth Quarter 2018 Results

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FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:FFG):

 

Financial Highlights

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

    Three months ended December 31,
2018     2017
Net income attributable to FBL Financial Group $ 6,415     $ 103,980
Non-GAAP operating income(1) 18,826 23,003
Earnings per common share (assuming dilution):
Net income 0.26 4.15
Non-GAAP operating income(1)       0.75       0.92
 

FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:FFG) today reported net income
attributable to FBL Financial Group for the fourth quarter of 2018 of
$6.4 million, or $0.26 per diluted common share, compared to $104.0
million, or $4.15 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of
2017. Fourth quarter 2017 net income included a one-time benefit from
the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 of $81.2 million ($3.24 per share).
Non-GAAP operating income(1) totaled $18.8 million, or $0.75
per common share, for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $23.0
million, or $0.92 per common share, for the fourth quarter of 2017. Full
year 2018 net income totaled $4.15 per share and full year 2018 non-GAAP
operating income totaled $4.36 per share. Fourth quarter 2018 earnings
per share reflects:

  • Net realized losses on investments primarily due to a change in the
    fair value of equity securities and other-than-temporary impairments
  • Lower investment income due to a change in the fair value of
    derivatives
  • Negative impact of $0.24 per share from the offering of a voluntary
    early retirement program; this program supports ongoing expense
    savings efforts while providing eligible employees with enhanced
    retirement benefits
  • Increased benefit expenses totaling $0.17 per share due to updating
    the estimate of an immaterial error related to a closed block of life
    insurance business along with accrued interest associated with
    remediating the error
  • Higher amortization of acquisition costs in the Corporate and Other
    segment due to the negative impact of equity markets on separate
    account performance
  • Favorable mortality results in the Life Segment
  • The benefit of other investment-related income of $0.02 per share

Non-GAAP operating income differs from the GAAP measure, net income
attributable to FBL Financial Group, in that it excludes the initial
impact of changes in federal statutory income tax rates and tax laws,
realized gains and losses on investments, and the change in net
unrealized gains and losses on derivatives and equity securities. For
further information on this non-GAAP financial measure, please refer to
Note (1) and the reconciliation provided within this release.

"FBL Financial Group fourth quarter net income of $0.26 per share and
operating income of $0.75 per share reflect the impact of several items,
including volatile equity markets and a charge related to ongoing
expense savings. Even so, we reported a record $4.36 per share in full
year non-GAAP operating income," said James P. Brannen, Chief Executive
Officer of FBL Financial Group, Inc. "Sales in the fourth quarter were
strong, resulting in a five percent increase in life insurance premiums
collected and a three percent increase in annuity premiums collected
compared to the prior year quarter. We have a positive outlook in 2019
based on financial strength, a robust Farm Bureau Financial Services
agent force, and enhanced distribution through the addition of Farm
Bureau wealth management advisors. These factors empower us to fulfill
our purpose of protecting livelihoods and futures."

Product Revenues Increase from 2017. Premiums and product charges
for the fourth quarter of 2018 totaled $80.2 million compared to $75.8
million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Interest sensitive product
charges increased 17 percent while traditional life insurance premiums
were flat during the quarter. Premiums collected(2) in the
fourth quarter of 2018 totaled $157.4 million compared to $153.7 million
in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Investment Income of $84 Million in Fourth Quarter. Net
investment income in the fourth quarter of 2018 totaled $83.9 million,
compared to $107.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. This decrease
is due to a change in the fair value of derivatives as well as lower
investment yields and a decline in other investment-related income. The
annualized yield earned on average invested assets, with securities at
amortized cost, including investments held as securities and
indebtedness of related parties, was 5.13 percent for the year ended
December 31, 2018 compared to 5.28 percent for the year ended December
31, 2017. At December 31, 2018, 98 percent of the fixed maturity
securities in FBL Financial Group's investment portfolio were investment
grade debt securities.

Benefits and Expenses. Benefits and expenses totaled $156.0
million in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $153.4 million in the
fourth quarter of 2017. Death benefits, net of reinsurance and reserves
released, totaled $30.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared
to $29.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. By its nature, mortality
experience can fluctuate from quarter to quarter.

Net Realized Losses in the Fourth Quarter. In the fourth quarter
of 2018, FBL Financial Group recognized net realized losses on
investments of $9.6 million. This is attributable to realized gains on
sales of $0.4 million, realized losses on sales of $1.3 million and
unrealized losses on equity securities of $4.7 million. In addition,
other-than-temporary impairments totaled $3.9 million.

Stock Repurchases. During the fourth quarter of 2018, FBL
Financial Group repurchased 103,826 shares of its Class A common stock.
FBL Financial Group has $40.9 million remaining under its current stock
repurchase program.

Capital and Book Value. As of December 31, 2018, the book value
per share of FBL Financial Group common stock totaled $47.78, compared
to $55.12 at December 31, 2017. Book value per share, excluding
accumulated other comprehensive income(3), totaled $44.09 at
December 31, 2018, compared to $43.68 at December 31, 2017. The
December 31, 2018 company action level risk based capital ratio of FBL
Financial Group's wholly owned subsidiary, Farm Bureau Life Insurance
Company, was approximately 552 percent.

Further Financial Information. Further information on FBL
Financial Group's financial results, including results by segment, may
be found in FBL Financial Group's financial supplement, available on its
website, www.fblfinancial.com.

Conference Call. FBL Financial Group will hold a conference call
with investors tomorrow, February 8, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
The call will be webcast and a replay will be available on FBL Financial
Group's website.

Certain statements in this release concerning FBL Financial Group's
prospects for the future are forward-looking statements intended to
qualify for the "safe harbor" from liability established by the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements generally can be
identified by their context, including terms such as "believes,"
"anticipates," "expects," or similar words. These statements involve
certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to
differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking
statement. These risks and uncertainties are detailed in FBL Financial
Group's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and
include, but are not limited to, changes in interest rates, difficult
conditions in financial markets and the economy, lack of liquidity and
access to capital, investment valuations, competitive factors, a
decrease in ratings, changes in laws and regulations, differences
between actual claims experience and underwriting assumptions,
relationships with Farm Bureau organizations, the ability to attract and
retain sales agents and adverse results from litigation. These
forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which FBL Financial
Group believes to be reasonable; however, no assurance can be given that
the assumptions will prove to be correct. FBL Financial Group undertakes
no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

FBL Financial Group is a holding company whose purpose is to protect
livelihoods and futures. Operating under the consumer brand name Farm
Bureau Financial Services, it offers a broad range of life insurance and
annuity products distributed by multiline exclusive Farm Bureau agents.
In addition, FBL Financial Group manages all aspects of two Farm Bureau
affiliated property-casualty insurance companies for a management fee.
Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, FBL Financial Group is traded on
the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FFG. For more information,
please visit www.fblfinancial.com
and www.fbfs.com.

- FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND NOTES FOLLOW -

 
FBL Financial Group, Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
       
Three months ended Year ended
December 31, December 31,
2018     2017 2018     2017
Revenues:
Interest sensitive product charges $ 30,624 $ 26,275 $ 122,789 $ 112,936
Traditional life insurance premiums 49,600 49,547 198,312 195,330
Net investment income 83,865 107,347 394,618 415,199
Net realized capital gains (losses) (5,661 ) (7,276 )
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