Erie Indemnity Company (NASDAQ:ERIE) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Oct 25, 2019 • 10:00 am ET
Good morning and welcome to the Erie Indemnity Company Third Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. This call was pre-recorded and there will be no question-and-answer session following the recording.
Now I'd like to introduce your host for the call, Vice President of Investor Relations.
Thank you and welcome everyone. We appreciate you joining us for this recorded discussion about our 2019 third quarter results. This recording will include remarks from Tim NeCastro, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Greg Gutting, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Our earnings release and financial supplement were issued yesterday afternoon after the market closed and are available within the Investor Relations section of our website erieinsurance.com.
Before we begin, I would like to remind everyone that today's discussion may contain forward-looking remarks that reflect the company's current views about future events. These remarks are based on assumptions subject to known and unexpected risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties may cause results to differ materially from those described in these remarks. For information on important factors that may cause such differences, please see the Safe Harbor statements in our Form 10-Q filing with the SEC dated October 24th, 2019 in the related press release. This pre-recorded call is the property of Erie Indemnity Company. It may not be reproduced or rebroadcast by any other party without the prior written consent of Erie Indemnity Company.
With that, we'll move on to Tim's remarks.
Timothy G. NeCastro
Thanks Scott, and thanks to all of you who have a continued interest in the Erie's results and success. During our third quarter of 2019, Erie Indemnity continued the strong favorable performance we saw through the first half of the year. As we reported in our press release filed yesterday, Indemnity's net income was $94 million or $1.80 per diluted share. That's an increase of $14 million over our third quarter in 2018, and it brings net income year-to-date to $257 million, compared to $226 million in the first nine months of 2018, an increase of 14%.
Greg will get into the details around Indemnity's results, but before he does, I'll share some of the highlights of the insurance operation we manage Erie Insurance Exchange. Direct written premium grew by over 5% for the third quarter and year-to-date compared to 2018, which positions the exchange well to once again outperformed the industry. Conning's latest forecast for industry growth in direct premium is 4.4%. As we mentioned in the last earnings report, we're continuing to see a more competitive marketplace with softening prices in private passenger auto. In challenging markets, we at Erie maintain a steady long-term approach to pricing that reinforces our reputation for reliability and stability.
Finally, we saw some improvement in the weather during the third quarter. Our claim teams and agents responded to five major weather events over the past three months, down from nine in the second quarter. The most recent storms were more localized, affecting customers in North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin as well as in parts