Hartford Financial Services Group Inc HIG
Q2 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 08/02/2012

Operator: Good morning. My name is Darlene, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to The Hartford's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.

Thank you. Ms. Sabra Purtill, you may begin your conference.

Sabra Purtill - IR: Thank you, Darlene. Good morning, and welcome to The Hartford's second quarter 2012 conference call.

Our speakers today are Liam McGee, The Hartford's Chairman, President, and CEO and Chris Swift, our CFO. Other members of our senior management team here today include Doug Elliot, Brion Johnson, Alan Kreczko, Andy Napoli, and Bob Rupp.

As detailed on Page 2 of the presentation, statements concerning The Hartford's future results or actions should be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may be materially different. We assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements.

You should also consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ, including those discussed in our press release, our second quarter 10-Q, 2011 10-K, and other filings we make with the SEC. Please note that our presentation includes financial measures that are not derived from generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP. Definitions and reconciliations of these measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are provided in our financial supplement, press release, 10-Q and on our website.

I'll now turn the call over to Liam.

Liam E. McGee - Chairman, President and CEO: Thank you, Sabra. Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us today. Before I get started I want to welcome Brion Johnson, our recently appointed Chief Investment Officer. Prior to his appointment in May, Brion was Head of Strategy and Finance for our investment management subsidiary.

This was a productive quarter at The Hartford. We generated good underlying financial results marked by improved performance in our go forward businesses. We successfully refinanced the only Allianz debt and completed the $500 million equity repurchase program. We also made progress in executing our new strategy, particularly in the sales processes for the Life businesses, which are proceeding as expected.

Let me start with an overview of our quarterly financial results. Core earnings were $119 million or $0.23 per diluted share including high catastrophe losses although less than last year's, restructuring expenses and an unfavorable DAC unlock. Adjusting for these items, core earnings were $0.85 per diluted share, ahead of our May outlook. Importantly, earnings were marked by favorable momentum in our go forward businesses.

Core earnings in P&C commercial increased 67% from the prior year reflecting lower catastrophe losses and the favorable impact of the pricing and underwriting actions launched last year particularly in workers' compensation. We saw adverse loss trends in the comp line early and immediately began taking action. Workers' compensation trends are generally performing as we expected with only a slight adjustment this quarter.

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