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National Western Life Announces 2008 Fourth Quarter and 2008 Earnings
Date:3/9/2009

AUSTIN, Texas, March 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ross R. Moody, President of National Western Life Insurance Company (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today fourth quarter 2008 consolidated net earnings of $10.9 million, or $3.06 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $29.2 million, or $8.22 per diluted Class A common share, for the fourth quarter of 2007. For the year ended December 31, 2008, the Company reported consolidated net earnings of $33.6 million, or $9.48 per diluted Class A common share, compared with $85.4 million, or $23.95 per diluted Class A common share, a year ago. The Company's book value per share was $271.99.

Net earnings for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2008 included after-tax investment losses of $2.8 million and $17.0 million, or $0.79 and $4.80 per diluted Class A share, respectively. The after-tax investment losses were substantially the result of other-than-temporary impairments on bond holdings in which the fair values of securities declined significantly below their book value to the Company. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) require that securities be written down in such situations even if the Company has the intent to hold the securities to maturity. Mr. Moody indicated that the Company's investment losses were a reflection of the current economic crisis. "We are fortunate to incur minimal investment losses on a $6 billion investment portfolio, particularly in light of what other life insurers have been reporting in their year-end earnings releases. The financial markets have become extremely volatile and illiquid which combined with stringent GAAP requirements make it difficult to avoid substantial investment losses," Mr. Moody stated.

Operating revenues, excluding realized investment gains (losses) and realized and unrealized gains (losses) on
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SOURCE National Western Life Insurance Company
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