Guardian Holdings profit jumps 31%

Guardian Holdings jumps $1 to new 52 weeks’ high.

Profits at the Trinidad based Guardian Holdings, jumped an attractive 31 percent to TT$534 million above the TT$407 million reported for 2017 that is due to shareholders of the group.
The results translate to earnings per share of $2.30 versus $1.75 in the prior year. “Insurance underwriting activities drove the performance led by the Life, Health and Pension business segment which had a stellar performance achieved primarily from improved persistency, expense management and improved product mix,” Henry Peter Ganteaume, the company’s Deputy Chairman, disclosed to shareholders in his commentary accompanying the results.
Net Written Premiums by 6 percent to reach $4.16 billion but gross written premium rose by 7 percent to $5.86 billion. Net income from underwriting activities more than doubled from $403 million to $863 million. The deputy chairman went on to state, “The Property and Casualty business segment returned a satisfactory performance as it was spared major catastrophic events during the year. However, the persistent soft market conditions led to a marginal increase to Net Written Premiums. Also of note were the not-insignificant profits made by our Asset Management and Brokerage businesses. These two ‘segments’ hold promise to become important and non-risk exposed elements of our overall Group earnings profile over the relatively short term. NCB shareholders will be big winners in a successful Guardian acquisition. Net income from investing activities fell from $1,191 million to $982 million, driven primarily by volatility in Global equity markets, which resulted in a Net fair value loss of $12 million in 2018 compared to an exceptional gain of $246 million in 2017”.
Operating expenses increased by 7 percent to just under $1.05 billion. Based on the 2018 performance, the directors propose a final dividend of 48 cents, which will bring the total dividend to 71 cents, an increase of 4 cents or 6 percent over 2017. Shareholders’ equity grew to $3.4 billion at the end December and total assets at $27.3 billion.
Guardian stock closed at a 52 weeks’ high of $19 on the Trinidad Stock Exchange on Wednesday at a low PE ratio of 8.2 times last year’s earnings and no doubt even lower than 2019 earnings. If NCB financial gets approval for the acquisition of majority shares in the company, they would have picked up a gem at a very low price making the NCB’s investors the winners and the Guardian sellers, big losers.

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