First American Financial Corporation (NYSE:FAF) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Jul 25, 2019 • 11:00 am ET
Greetings and welcome to the First American Financial Corporation's Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] A copy of today's press release is available on First American's website at www.firstam.com/investor. Please note that the call is being recorded and will be available for replay from the Company's Investor website and for short time by dialing 877-660-6853 or 201-612-7415 and enter the conference ID 13692064. We will now turn the call over to Craig Barberio, Vice President, Investor Relations to make an introductory statement.
Good morning everyone and welcome to First American's earnings conference call for the second quarter of 2019. Joining us today will be our Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Gilmore, and Mark Seaton, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Some of the statements made today may contain forward-looking statements that do not relate strictly to historical or current fact. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and the Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made. Risks and uncertainties exist that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in these forward-looking statements. For more information on these risks and uncertainties, please refer to this morning's earnings release, and the risk factors discussed in our Form 10-K and subsequent SEC filings.
Our presentation today contains certain non-GAAP financial measures that we believe provide additional insight into the operational efficiency and performance of the Company relative to earlier periods and relative to the Company's competitors. For more details on these non-GAAP financial measures including presentation with and reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financials, please refer to this morning's earnings release which is available on our website at www.firstam.com.
I will now turn the call over to Dennis Gilmore.
Dennis J. Gilmore
Thank you, Craig. Good morning and thank you for joining our call. I'll begin with a review of our second quarter results and then discuss our outlook for the remainder of 2019. The Company delivered outstanding financial results this quarter. Second quarter earnings were $1.64 per share or $1.58 per share, excluding net realized investment gains. Low interest rates continue to strengthen the purchase market, drive substantial growth and refinance activity and support a healthy commercial market.
The Title segment delivered a record pretax margin of 17% or 16.5% excluding net realized investment gains. Strong expense management and growth in our investment income drove improvements in our earnings and margin.
The Title segment's revenues were flat, our refinance revenues were up 34%, our purchase revenues declined 2%, an improvement from recent trends and our commercial revenues were down 2% compared with last year, in-line with our expectations. Our Specialty Insurance segment delivered strong results driven by performance of our home warranty business, which had a lower claim losses due to lower claim frequency and severity. The overall segment benefited from a decline in the loss ratio to