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Samsung Life Insurance Earnings: Still No Visibility on Full-Year Dividend Number

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Samsung Life Insurance Co Ltd

We retain our fair value estimate of KRW 77,000 for Samsung Life Insurance 032830, equivalent to 0.32 times book value as of June 2023 and 9.1 times our earnings forecast for 2023. We continue to view Samsung Life as a relatively lackluster investment due to its chronically low return on equity (average of only 5% since its IPO in 2010), but see the shares as undervalued at their current price of 0.29 times book value. We think better visibility into future dividend increases could be a catalyst for revaluation, but 2023 interim earnings—the second quarter Samsung Life has reported under new IFRS 17 accounting—did not provide any news here. Our forecast remains for dividends of KRW 3,300 per share for 2023 (2022: KRW 3,000), increasing by KRW 200 annually thereafter.

Second-quarter annualized return on equity was 2.6%, versus 6.9% in the first quarter (when earnings were boosted by a penalty received from a corporate pension customer that switched products) and our full-year forecast of 3.6%. Net insurance income was KRW 438 billion, with amortization of contractual service margin, or CSM, at KRW 321 billion. Such amortization should be a reliable earnings contributor in the future and we project full-year CSM profit at KRW 1.42 trillion, accounting for the majority of our forecast pretax profit of KRW 2.15 trillion. Assuming that Samsung Life sells new policies that generate new-business CSM of around KRW 3.5 trillion in 2023 (double the KRW 1.8 trillion of new-business CSM in the first half), the CSM balance at year-end should be around KRW 12.8 trillion, or 11 years’ worth of future profits at the current amortization rate.

Net investment income was negative KRW 119 billion as reserve interest expense outweighed investment income. Although net investment income will be lumpy from quarter to quarter, we project a mildly positive balance on annual bases as Samsung Life periodically receives dividends from subsidiary Samsung Card and affiliate Samsung Securities.

The author or authors do not own shares in any securities mentioned in this article. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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Michael Makdad

Senior Equity Analyst
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Michael Makdad is a senior equity analyst for Ibbotson Associates Japan, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. He covers financial and real estate firms. Makdad is a Team Leader for the Japan team.

Before joining Morningstar in 2018, Makdad worked in equity and credit research in Tokyo and Hong Kong since 2005 for Lehman Brothers, Nomura, Moody’s, and Haitong Securities. He worked as a sector analyst and in roles where he supervised the research product content and presentation for other analysts across the Asia region.

Makdad holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

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