STAMFORD, Conn., May 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Holding Company (NYSE: IHC) today reported 2020 first-quarter results.

Financial Results

Net income attributable to IHC per share was $.29 per share, diluted, or $4,278,000, for the three months ended March 31, 2020 compared to $.58 per share, diluted, or $8,727,000, for the three months ended March 31, 2019. Net income for this quarter is lower primarily because (i) the 2019 first quarter includes a pre-tax gain of $3.6 million on the sale of an equity method investment and (ii) of expenses incurred in the first quarter of this year related to the ramp up of our senior marketing division.

The Company reported revenues of $103,997,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2020 compared to revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2019 of $94,182,000.

Chief Executive Officer’s Comments

Roy T. K. Thung, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our thoughts continue to be with those suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and those on the front lines. This outbreak has not had a material negative impact on first quarter results, however, we may incur additional expenses for the balance of the year relating to possible COVID-19 related claims activity and possible delayed premium payments. We have implemented business continuity and emergency response plans to continue to provide service to our customers and to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees whether they are working from home or once they return to offices that have been modified to protect them.”

Mr. Thung continued, “I would like to first update you on our entrance into the senior health market, which is a new line of business we entered into in a small way in the fourth quarter of last year. We have spent a considerable amount of capital entering this market, which is growing by an estimated 10,000 people per day. We have enhanced our SalesForce CRM platform, as well as our producer licensing, consumer and web-based enrollment systems. We have also built out our Marketing Technology (MarTech) capabilities through the acquisition of a technology company that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to generate high-intent leads. This acquisition ( ) will significantly enhance our ability to identify consumer intent, improve conversion rates, and provide the engine we need to generate enough quality leads to efficiently achieve the growth targets we’ve set for our call centers, career agents, and Direct-to-Consumer transactional sites. Now that this infrastructure is in place to efficiently generate leads, we are actively working to hire, train and license additional agents. By the fourth quarter of this year, we anticipate having 150 licensed call center agents focused primarily on the senior market, and 275 licensed career agents selling products underwritten by both IHC’s carriers and other highly rated insurance companies. The majority of the agents we are hiring, training and licensing are not expected to produce a significant number of sales in the next two quarters since the majority of Medicare Supplement (Med Supp) and Medicare Advantage sales typically occur during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which occurs in the fourth quarter of each year. Therefore, we will not generate a corresponding increase in revenues in the next two quarters, which will affect our earnings to some degree. In addition, we have invested in one of our carriers, Independence American Insurance Company (IAIC), launching a Medicare Supplement product in four states (with a total of 30 states expected by the AEP). This will be the “anchor tenant” in our impressive portfolio of senior products. We expect this product to be priced very competitively as we utilized a sophisticated buyer propensity and health model developed through collaboration among IAIC, our recently acquired MarTech technology company and a leading Med Supp carrier and reinsurer. We also remain excited by the prospects of our pet division as there is a very strong demand for pet insurance resulting from record adoptions and breeder sales as pet parents are seeking the comfort of dog and cat companions in these troubled times. To this end, Pet Partners, Inc. (PPI) continues to be closely aligned with American Kennel Club. PPI remains on track to bring state-of-the-art Android and iOS apps to market in the third quarter of this year, which will permit clients to enroll in pet insurance, check claims status, maintain e-records of immunizations and appointments and generally assist in supporting the health and wellbeing of their pets. In conclusion, we now have all of the necessary tools in place to be very successful in the senior and pet markets, and the expenses we are incurring now are an important investment in our future.”

Mr. Thung added, “IHC has a very strong balance sheet with no indebtedness and a very substantial amount of free cash at the corporate level and significant excess capital in our insurance companies. Our book value increased from $17.25 per share at December 31, 2014 to $30.92 per share at December 31, 2019 and to $31.03 per share at March 31, 2020. IHC increased its annual dividend to $.44 per share in 2020, which is the sixth increase since December 2014 when the annual dividend paid to the stockholders was $.07 per share. Our overall investment portfolio continues to be very highly rated (on average, AA) and has an effective duration under three years. In April 2020, the Company commenced a tender offer to purchase up to 1,000,000 shares of IHC common stock at a price of $27 per share in order to provide liquidity to its stockholders by permitting them the opportunity to tender shares of IHC common stock for cash.”

About The IHC Group

Independence Holding Company (NYSE: IHC), formed in 1980, is a holding company that is principally engaged in underwriting, administering and/or distributing group and individual specialty benefit products, including disability, supplemental health, pet, and group life insurance through its subsidiaries (Independence Holding Company and its subsidiaries collectively referred to as “The IHC Group”). The IHC Group consists of three insurance companies (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company). We also own the following agencies: (i) PetPartners, Inc., our pet insurance administrator; (ii) IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., a technology-driven full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer and individual consumer products through its call center, career agents, and Independence Brokerage Group; and (iii) The INSX Cloud Platform through My1HR, our wholly owned Web Based Entity. Our InsureTech division is comprised of our call centers, field and career agents, in-house MarTech artificial intelligence capabilities and domains, including;;;; and

Forward-looking Statements

Certain statements and information contained in this release may be considered “forward-looking statements,” such as statements relating to management's views with respect to future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions in the markets in which IHC operates, new federal or state governmental regulation, IHC’s ability to effectively operate, integrate and leverage any past or future strategic acquisition, and other factors which can be found in IHC’s other news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IHC expressly disclaims any duty to update its forward-looking statements unless required by applicable law.



(In Thousands, Except Shares and Per Share Data)

Three Months Ended March 31, -------------------- 2020 2019 --------- -------- REVENUES: Premiums earned $ 96,050 $ 82,789 Net investment income 3,240 3,996 Fee income 3,942 4,188 Other income 477 3,684 Net investment gains 288 171 Net impairment losses recognized in earnings - (646 ) 103,997 94,182 ------- - ------ - EXPENSES: Insurance benefits, claims and reserves 54,058 43,119 Selling, general and administrative expenses 44,574 40,529 98,632 83,648 ------- - ------ - Income before income taxes 5,365 10,534 Income taxes 1,043 1,644 ------- - ------ - Net income 4,322 8,890 (Income) from noncontrolling interests (44 ) (163 ) ------- - ------ - NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO IHC $ 4,278 $ 8,727 ------- - ------ - Basic income per common share $ .29 $ .58 ------- - ------ - WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES OUTSTANDING 14,856 14,948 ------- - ------ - Diluted income per common share $ .29 $ .58 WEIGHTED AVERAGE DILUTED SHARES OUTSTANDING 14,911 15,066 ------- - ------ -

As of May 8, 2020, there were 14,785,565 common shares outstanding, net of treasury shares.



March 31, December 31, 2020 2019 ----------- ----------- ASSETS: Investments: Short-term investments $ 74,029 $ 50 Securities purchased under agreements to resell 18,377 107,157 Fixed maturities, available-for-sale 414,004 384,974 Equity securities 2,959 3,747 Other investments 14,743 15,208 --------- - --------- - Total investments 524,112 511,136 Cash and cash equivalents 23,048 21,094 Due and unpaid premiums 32,621 26,244 Due from reinsurers 362,301 362,969 Goodwill 64,827 60,165 Other assets 72,926 72,695 TOTAL ASSETS $ 1,079,835 $ 1,054,303 --------- - --------- - LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY: LIABILITIES: Policy benefits and claims $ 170,836 $ 164,802 Future policy benefits 200,986 201,205 Funds on deposit 140,837 140,951 Unearned premiums 27,403 7,282 Other policyholders' funds 11,965 12,049 Due to reinsurers 4,114 5,016 Accounts payable, accruals and other liabilities 61,506 61,049 TOTAL LIABILITIES 617,647 592,354 --------- - --------- - Commitments and contingencies Redeemable noncontrolling interest 2,290 2,237 STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY: Preferred stock (none issued) - - Common stock 18,625 18,625 Paid-in capital 123,260 122,717 Accumulated other comprehensive income 1,101 1,212 Treasury stock, at cost (71,196 ) (69,724 ) Retained earnings 388,102 386,864 --------- - --------- - TOTAL IHC STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY 459,892 459,694 NONREDEEMABLE NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS 6 18 --------- - --------- - TOTAL EQUITY 459,898 459,712 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY $ 1,079,835 $ 1,054,303 --------- - --------- -

CONTACT: Loan Nisser(646)

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