FBL Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:FFG) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Feb 08, 2019 • 09:00 am ET

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FBL Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:FFG) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the FBL Financial Group Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in listen only mode. (Operator Instructions) After today's presentation there will be an opportunity to ask questions. (Operator Instructions) Please note that this event is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Kathleen Till Stange, Vice President of Corporate and Investor Relations. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Executive
Kathleen Till Stange

Thank you, and welcome to FBL Financial Group's fourth quarter earnings conference call. Presenting on today's call are Jim Brannen, Chief Executive Officer; and Don Seibel, Chief Financial Officer. Also present and available to answer your questions are Charlie Happel, Chief Investment Officer; and Ray Wasilewski, Chief Operating Officer.

Certain statements made today may contain forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. These risks and uncertainties are detailed in FBL's reports filed with the SEC and are based on assumptions which FBL believes to be reasonable. However, no assurance can be given that the assumptions will prove to be correct. FBL disclaims any obligation to update forward-looking statements after this date.

Comments during this call include certain non-GAAP financial measures. Where applicable, these items are reconciled to GAAP in our fourth quarter earnings release and financial supplement, both of which may be found on our website, fblfinancial.com. Today's call is being simulcast on FBL's website. An audio replay and a transcript of the prepared comments may be found on our website shortly after the call.

With that, it is now my pleasure to turn the call over to CEO, Jim Brannen.

Executive
James P. Brannen

Thanks, Kathleen. And thank you to everybody on the call. I'm glad you're able to join us today. While I am pleased FBL Financial Group reported record full year 2018 earnings with non-GAAP operating income of $4.36 per share, we did report lower than expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018. Net income totaled $0.26 per share and non-GAAP operating income was $0.75 per share. There were several items that negatively impacted the results for the quarter. We previously issued a Form 8-K on two non-recurring items; the correction of an immaterial error and a charge related to ongoing expense savings. We were also impacted by the volatile equity markets in the quarter. I am pleased to share that aside from the non-recurring items, it was a solid quarter. Don will review the financial results in detail. I'll focus my comments primarily on our sales and current initiatives.

Total premium collected for the fourth quarter of 2018 grew to $157 million, with increases in both life insurance and annuities. Annuity premium collected for the fourth quarter increased to $70.5 million. Indexed annuity sales were up 10.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, while we experienced a decline in fixed rate annuity sales.