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Torchmark Posts Strong Year-End Gains

Torchmark Corp. reported net income increased by 19.4 percent for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, from $4.53 in 2011 to $5.41 last year. Life insurance accounted for 70 percent of the company's insurance underwriting margin for the quarter and 61 percent of total premium revenue, the company said.

For the fourth quarter, net income was $1.58 per share, compared with $1.20 per share for the year-ago quarter, a 31.7 percent increase.

Net sales of life insurance increased 3 percent, while health sales, excluding Medicare Part D, increased 67 percent.

Health insurance, excluding Medicare Part D, accounted for 24 percent of Torchmark's insurance underwriting margin for the quarter and 27 percent of total premium revenue, according to a release. Medicare Part D accounted for 5 percent of insurance underwriting margin and 11 percent of total premium revenue.

According to a release, net operating income per share increased 10 percent over the year-ago quarter and increased 15 percent for the year.

Book value per share (excluding net unrealized gains on fixed maturities) increased 10 percent over the year-ago quarter.

American Income net life sales were up 8 percent compared to the year-ago quarter and were up 12 percent for the year. The American Income agent count was up 18 percent over the year-ago quarter, while the Liberty National agent count was up 6 percent over the fourth quarter of 2011.

“At American Income, life premiums were up 9 percent to $171 million and life underwriting margin was also up 16 percent to $57 million,” co-CEO Larry Hutchinson said during a conference call with analysts. “Net life sales increased 8 percent for the quarter to $40 million. The producing agent count at the end of fourth quarter was 5,176, up 18 percent from a year ago but down 5 percent during the quarter.

“We’re very pleased overall with the progress made at American Income in 2012,” Hutchinson said.

Net health insurance sales, excluding Part D, were up 67 percent over the year-ago quarter (net health sales were up 32 percent excluding Family Heritage).

Torchmark projects that for the year ending December 31, 2013, net operating income per share will range from $5.45 to $5.75.

Headquartered in McKinney, Texas, Torchmark is the parent company of Liberty National, American Income, First United American, Globe, United American, United Investors and Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America. Torchmark’s acquisition of Family Heritage closed Nov. 1, 2012.

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