Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Limited reported a net loss to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2012 of $19 million, or $0.16 per diluted common share, compared with net income of $80 million, or $0.63 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Net income available to common shareholders for the full year 2012 was $495 million, or $4.00 per diluted common share, compared with $9 million, or $0.07 per diluted common share, for 2011. The improvement in the annual results was largely due to a reduction in net-after tax losses from natural catastrophe and weather events, which totaled $398 million in 2012 and $910 million in 2011.
Operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $28 million, or $0.23 per diluted common share, compared with operating income of $67 million, or $0.53 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.
For the full year 2012, AXIS Capital reported operating income of $422 million, or $3.41 per diluted common share, compared with an operating loss of $154 million, or $1.26 per diluted common share, for 2011.
Commenting on the fourth quarter 2012 financial results, Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of AXIS Capital said, “We experienced strong results across most parts of our Company in the fourth quarter, but our performance was clearly offset by the impact of Storm Sandy, which led to a small loss for the period.
“Given 2012 included one of the largest U.S. storm events in history, we believe our operating income of $422 million for the year, representing an operating ROE of 8.2%, was an acceptable result. We returned nearly all of our earnings to shareholders, increased our dividend for the 9th year in a row, and ended 2012 with diluted book value per share of $42.97, which represents a 13% increase over the prior year.
“Looking beyond the financial impact of Storm Sandy, we made significant progress across many facets of our Company. We grew meaningfully in lines and markets that experienced some of the strongest price corrections in a steadily improving insurance market. Additionally, we advanced a number of important business initiatives including renewable energy and global accident and health, while at the same time continuing to lay the groundwork for further profitable growth.
“We have added more balance to our overall portfolio, and expect that our pursuit of new opportunities in 2013 – including our new agriculture and marine reinsurance initiatives and re-entry into select casualty markets – will lead to a larger and more diversified portfolio of risks. We are entering 2013 on a positive note, based on our expectations for continued pricing improvement, our positioning for diversified growth and our excellent financial strength.”