PROTECTIVE LIFE CORP - 10-Q - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

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The following Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ("MD&A") should be read in conjunction with our consolidated condensed financial statements included under Part I, Item 1, Financial Statements (Unaudited), of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and our audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011, included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K.

For a more complete understanding of our business and current period results, please read the following MD&A in conjunction with our latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").

Certain reclassifications have been made in the previously reported financial statements and accompanying notes to make the prior period amounts comparable to those of the current period. Such reclassifications had no effect on previously reported net income or shareowners' equity. In January of 2012, we adopted ASU No. 2010-26 which changed certain previously reported items within our financial statements and accompanying notes and the MD&A. The changes affected previously reported amounts in Note 3, Significant Acquisitions, Note 5, Deferred Acquisition Costs and Value of Business Acquired, Note 12, Earnings Per Share, Note 13, Income Taxes, Note 16, Operating Segments, and within our Life Marketing, Annuities, and Asset Protection segments.


This report reviews our financial condition and results of operations including our liquidity and capital resources. Historical information is presented and discussed, and where appropriate, factors that may affect future financial performance are also identified and discussed. Certain statements made in this report include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include any statement that may predict, forecast, indicate, or imply future results, performance, or achievements instead of historical facts and may contain words like "believe," "expect," "estimate," "project," "budget," "forecast," "anticipate," "plan," "will," "shall," "may," and other words, phrases, or expressions with similar meaning. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from the results contained in the forward-looking statements, and we cannot give assurances that such statements will prove to be correct. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. For more information about the risks, uncertainties and other factors that could affect our future results, please see Part I, Item II, Risks and Uncertainties and Part II, Item 1A, Risk Factors, of this report, as well as Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors, of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.


Our business

We are a holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with subsidiaries that provide financial services through the production, distribution, and administration of insurance and investment products. Founded in 1907, Protective Life Insurance Company ("PLICO") is our largest operating subsidiary. Unless the context otherwise requires, the "Company," "we," "us," or "our" refers to the consolidated group of Protective Life Corporation and our subsidiaries.

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We have several operating segments, each having a strategic focus. An operating segment is distinguished by products, channels of distribution, and/or other strategic distinctions. We periodically evaluate our operating segments as prescribed in the Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Segment Reporting Topic, and make adjustments to our segment reporting as needed.

Our operating segments are Life Marketing, Acquisitions, Annuities, Stable Value Products, Asset Protection, and Corporate and Other.

† Life Marketing - We market universal life ("UL"), variable universal life, bank-owned life insurance ("BOLI"), and level premium term insurance ("traditional") products on a national basis primarily through networks of independent insurance agents and brokers, stockbrokers, and independent marketing organizations.



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† Acquisitions - We focus on acquiring, converting, and servicing policies acquired from other companies. The segment's primary focus is on life insurance policies and annuity products that were sold to individuals. The level of the segment's acquisition activity is predicated upon many factors, including available capital, operating capacity, potential return on capital, and market dynamics. Policies acquired through the Acquisition segment are typically "closed" blocks of business (no new policies are being marketed). Therefore earnings and policy liabilities are expected to decline as the result of lapses, deaths, and other terminations of coverage unless new acquisitions are made.

† Annuities - We market fixed and variable annuity ("VA") products. These products are primarily sold through broker-dealers, financial institutions, and independent agents and brokers.

† Stable Value Products - We sell fixed and floating rate funding agreements directly to the trustees of municipal bond proceeds, institutional investors, bank trust departments, and money market funds. The segment also issues funding agreements to the Federal Home Loan Bank ("FHLB"), and markets guaranteed investment contracts ("GICs") to 401(k) and other qualified retirement savings plans.

† Asset Protection - We market extended service contracts and credit life and disability insurance to protect consumers' investments in automobiles, watercraft, and recreational vehicles. In addition, the segment markets a guaranteed asset protection ("GAP") product. GAP coverage covers the difference between the loan pay-off amount and an asset's actual cash value in the case of a total loss.

† Corporate and Other - This segment primarily consists of net investment income (including the impact of carrying excess liquidity), expenses not attributable to the segments above (including interest on certain corporate debt), and a trading portfolio that was previously part of a variable interest entity. This segment includes earnings from several non-strategic or runoff lines of business, various investment-related transactions, the operations of several small subsidiaries, and the repurchase of non-recourse funding obligations.

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Our core fundamentals helped drive the results in the third quarter. We experienced renewed sales momentum in the Life Marketing segment and achieved a record level of account balances in the Annuities segment. We continued to enjoy robust spreads in the Stable Value Products segment and enjoyed a record level of investment income in the quarter. In addition, our very strong and growing capital position has enabled us to continue to return a substantial portion of our earnings to shareowners through dividends and share repurchase during 2012.

Significant financial information related to each of our segments is included in "Results of Operations".


The factors which could affect our future results include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions and the following risks and uncertainties:


† exposure to the risks of natural and man-made catastrophes, pandemics, malicious acts, terrorist acts and climate change, which could adversely affect our operations and results;

† the occurrence of computer viruses, information security breaches, disasters, or other unanticipated events could affect our data processing systems or those of our business partners or service providers and could damage our business and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations;

† our results and financial condition may be negatively affected should actual experience differ from management's assumptions and estimates;

† we may not realize our anticipated financial results from our acquisitions strategy;

† we are dependent on the performance of others;

† our risk management policies, practices, and procedures could leave us exposed to unidentified or unanticipated risks, which could negatively affect our business or result in losses;

† our strategies for mitigating risks arising from our day-to-day operations may prove ineffective resulting in a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition;



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Financial environment

† interest rate fluctuations or significant and sustained periods of low interest rates could negatively affect our interest earnings and spread income, or otherwise impact our business;

† our investments are subject to market and credit risks, which could be heightened during periods of extreme volatility or disruption in financial and credit markets;

† equity market volatility could negatively impact our business;

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† our use of derivative financial instruments within our risk management strategy may not be effective or sufficient;

† credit market volatility or disruption could adversely impact our financial condition or results from operations;

† our ability to grow depends in large part upon the continued availability of capital;

† we could be adversely affected by a ratings downgrade or other negative action by a ratings organization;

† we could be forced to sell investments at a loss to cover policyholder withdrawals;

† disruption of the capital and credit markets could negatively affect our ability to meet our liquidity and financing needs;

† difficult general economic conditions could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations;

† we may be required to establish a valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, and capital position;

† we could be adversely affected by an inability to access our credit facility;

† our financial condition or results of operations could be adversely impacted if our assumptions regarding the fair value and future performance of our investments differ from actual experience;

† the amount of statutory capital that we have and the amount of statutory capital that we must hold to maintain our financial strength and credit ratings and meet other requirements can vary significantly from time to time and is sensitive to a number of factors outside of our control;

† we operate as a holding company and depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to transfer funds to us to meet our obligations and pay dividends;


† we are highly regulated and subject to numerous legal restrictions and regulations;

† changes to tax law or interpretations of existing tax law could adversely affect our ability to compete with non-insurance products or reduce the demand for certain insurance products;

† financial services companies are frequently the targets of legal proceedings, including class action litigation, which could result in substantial judgments;

† publicly held companies in general and the financial services industry in particular are sometimes the target of law enforcement investigations and the focus of increased regulatory scrutiny;

† new accounting rules, changes to existing accounting or reserving rules, or the grant of permitted accounting practices to competitors could negatively impact us;

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