CARMEL, Ind., Aug. 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. (NASDAQ:BWINA) (NASDAQ:BWINB) today reported results for the second quarter and first six months of 2017.  The Company experienced a second quarter net loss of $12.3 million, or $0.82 per share, which compares to net income of $6.0 million, or $0.40 per share, for the prior year’s second quarter.  For the first six months of 2017, net loss totaled $5.6 million, or $0.37 per share, which compares to net income of $20.1 million, or $1.33 per share, for the prior year period. 

Gross premiums written for the current quarter increased 19.0% to $119.0 million compared to $100.0 million written during the second quarter of 2016.  The increase was primarily driven by continued growth in the Company’s commercial automobile and workers’ compensation products as well as growth in the Company’s programs book of business.  Gross premiums written for the six months of 2017 increased 16.7% to $229.0 million compared to $196.2 million written during the first six months of 2016, with product group increases and decreases similar to those experienced in the second quarter.

Net premiums earned for the second quarter of 2017 were $68.0 million, 1.1% lower than last year’s second quarter total.  This decrease in net premiums earned, compared to growth in gross premiums written, was a function of premium adjustment provisions in the Company’s historical commercial automobile reinsurance treaties.  This historical reinsurance structure, which was revised in the Company’s current reinsurance treaty renewal, causes an adjustment for ceded premiums when the ultimate loss estimate changes for a reinsurance treaty year.  For the first six months of 2017, net premiums earned increased 4.7% to $142.0 million.

Net investment income increased 32.9% to $4.7 million compared to $3.5 million in 2016, reflecting an increase in yields on the Company’s fixed maturity securities and an increase in dividends from the Company’s equity portfolio.  For the six months ended June 30, 2017, net investment income increased 20.3% to $8.4 million, compared to $7.0 million in 2016, reflecting investment impacts similar to those experienced during the second quarter.

Underwriting operations produced a combined ratio of 142.9% during the second quarter of 2017, which compares to a combined ratio of 92.6% for the 2016 second quarter.  The combined ratio difference reflects a significant reserve strengthening, predominately for accident years 2015 and prior.  For the six months ended June 30, 2017, the combined ratio was 120.4%, which compares to a combined ratio of 89.6% for the 2016 period with the difference due mainly to the 2017 second quarter reserve strengthening.    

Book value per share on June 30, 2017 was $26.50, a decrease of $0.84 per share during the second quarter, after the payment of cash dividends to shareholders totaling $0.27 per share.  For the six months ended June 30, 2017, book value per share has decreased $0.31 after the payment of cash dividends to shareholders totaling $0.54 per share.  The combination of the year-to-date decrease in book value of $0.31, plus dividends paid to shareholders of $0.54, represents an annualized total value creation of 1.7% on beginning book value for the six months ended June 30, 2017. 

Forward-looking statements in this report are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties.  Readers are encouraged to review the Company's annual report for its full statement regarding forward-looking information.

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