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Triple-S Management Corporation Reports First Quarter 2009 Results

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, May 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Triple-S Management Corporation (NYSE: GTS), the largest managed care company in Puerto Rico, today announced consolidated revenues of $473.9 million and operating income of $11.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009. Net income of $3.9 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, includes an after tax net loss of $4.3 million or $0.14 per share in net realized and unrealized losses on investments and derivatives.

First Quarter Highlights

  • Total consolidated operating revenues increased 12.4 percent year over year to $473.9 million
  • Operating income was $11.1 million
  • Excluding net realized and unrealized losses and a derivatives loss included within other income (expenses), net income was $8.2 million, or $0.27 per diluted share
  • Consolidated loss ratio was 87.2 percent and the medical loss ratio (MLR) was 91.5 percent
  • Consolidated operating expense ratio increased 10 basis points to 14.8 percent
  • Continued expansion of Medicare Advantage business: over 40,000 additional member months enrollment during the three months ended March 31, 2009, a 25.9 percent year-over-year increase
  • Net cash flow provided by operating activities of $30.0 million

"Our solid first-quarter performance augurs well for the remainder of 2009," said Ramon M. Ruiz-Comas, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The period's double-digit, top-line growth was driven by a balanced book of business, with particular strength in the Medicare Advantage segment, and excellent retention rates. We are also pleased with the improvement in our adjusted Medicare Advantage MLR, reflecting initiatives that we have put in place without sacrificing the quality of care delivered to our members. Finally, we continued to make significant investments in our new IT system aimed at allowing us to become even more efficient in the future. "

Ruiz-Comas continued, "More recently, we signed the definitive agreement of the previously announced acquisition of La Cruz Azul, which is expected to close on or about July 1 2009. Aside from consolidating the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, as well as meaningfully expanding our commercial opportunity, we should enjoy substantial administrative cost synergies that will allow this transaction to make a slight bottom-line contribution in the second half of 2009 and be accretive on a rolling 12-month basis."

Consolidated operating revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2009, were $473.9 million, 12.4 percent higher than the same period of the previous year. The increase resulted primarily from growth in Medicare Advantage membership enrollment. To a lesser degree, growth was aided by higher membership enrollment in the Commercial business, the addition of the Metro North region in the Reform business, and increased premium rates in all businesses.

Consolidated claims incurred and operating expenses for the period were $462.8 million, an increase of 12.8 percent from the same period of the prior year. Consolidated claims incurred were $394.5 million, 12.6 percent above a year ago, principally due to increased claims in the managed care segment. The rise in claims was driven by higher enrollment and slightly higher utilization trends, especially in the Reform business. The consolidated loss ratio rose 60 basis points from the prior-year period, to 87.2 percent, largely reflecting the aforementioned utilization trends and the effect of a $10.5 million negative reserve development in our managed care segment. Operating expenses came in at $68.3 million, up 13.8 percent year over year. The consolidated operating expense ratio increased 10 basis points, to 14.8 percent, primarily the result of the higher volume of business, in the managed care segment, in particular, and the addition of the Metro North region ASO contract in November 2008.

Net income for the three months ended March 31, 2009, was $3.9 million, or $0.13 per diluted share based on weighted average shares outstanding of 30.3 million. This compares with net income for the three months ended March 31, 2008, of $1.2 million, or $0.04 per diluted share based on weighted average shares outstanding of 32.2 million. The earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2009, include an after tax net loss of $0.12 per diluted share in net realized and unrealized losses and a reduction in the unrealized gain in derivatives of $0.02 per diluted share included within other income (expenses). Excluding the effect of these items in the three months ended March 31, 2009, and 2008, net income was $8.2 million in both periods and earnings per diluted share would have amounted to $0.27 and $0.26, respectively.

                                                        Pro Forma Net Income
                                                         Three months ended
    (dollar amounts in millions)                              March 31,
                                                           2009     2008

       Pro forma net income:
                 Net income                                $3.9     $1.2
                 Net realized investment (gains)
                  losses, net of tax                        1.5     (0.5)
                 Net unrealized trading investments
                  losses, net of tax                        2.1      5.3
                 Derivative loss, net of tax                0.7      2.2
                             Pro forma net income          $8.2     $8.2

       Diluted pro forma net income per share             $0.27    $0.26

Segment Performance

Triple-S Management operates in three segments: 1) Managed Care, 2) Life Insurance, and 3) Property and Casualty Insurance. Management evaluates performance based primarily on the operating revenues and operating income of each segment. Operating revenues include premiums earned, net administrative service fees and net investment income. Operating costs include claims incurred and operating expenses. The Company calculates operating income or loss as operating revenues minus operating expenses. Operating margin is defined as operating gain or loss divided by operating revenues.

    (Unaudited)                     Three months ended March 31,
    (dollar amounts in millions)                      Percentage
                                    2009       2008     Change

     Operating revenues:
           Managed Care           $419.1     $370.1      13.2%
           Life Insurance           28.5       26.1       9.2%
           Property and Casualty    27.4       26.3       4.2%
           Other                    (1.1)      (1.0)     10.0%
                 Total operating
                  revenues        $473.9     $421.5      12.4%

     Operating income:
           Managed Care             $5.8       $5.3       9.4%
           Life Insurance            3.0        2.5      20.0%
           Property and Casualty     1.4        2.1    (33.3%)
           Other                     0.9        1.4    (35.7%)
                 Total operating
                  income           $11.1      $11.3     (1.8%)

     Operating margin:
           Managed Care              1.4%       1.4%     0 bp
           Life Insurance           10.5%       9.6%    90 bp
           Property and Casualty     5.1%       8.0%  -290 bp
           Consolidated              2.3%       2.7%   -40 bp

Managed Care Results Summary

Total medical premiums earned for the three months ended March 31, 2009 were $404.5 million, up 12.4 percent versus the same period of 2008, primarily due to higher Medicare Advantage member enrollment and premium rate increases across all businesses.

Medical premiums earned in the Medicare business increased $32.8 million, or 33.8%, to $129.7 million, reflecting an increase in member months enrollment of 37,744, or 19.8 percent, and higher average per member per month premiums. The rise in member months is the net result of an increase of 40,825, or 25.9 percent, in Medicare Advantage membership and a decrease of 3,081, or 9.4 percent, in PDP membership.

Medical premiums earned in the Commercial business climbed $7.9 million, or 4.3 percent, to $189.9 million. The increase is primarily the net result of a rise in member months enrollment of 25,412, or 2.1 percent, and higher average premium rates.

Medical premiums earned in the Reform business rose $3.9 million, or 4.8 percent, to $84.9 million. The decline in member months enrollment of 55,069, or 5.3 percent, was more than offset by a premium rate increase of approximately 10 percent that became effective on July 1, 2008.

Administrative service fees were up $4.9 million, or 106.5 percent, due to an increase in member months enrollment of 643,608, or 129.7 percent. This sharp rise mainly reflects the Metro-North region ASO contract, which became effective in November 2008.

Medical claims incurred increased by $42.3 million, or 12.9 percent, to $370.2 million largely driven by the higher volume of business and MLR. The overall MLR increased 40 basis points during the three months ended March 31, 2009, to 91.5 percent. This increase was the result of the changes in the reserve estimates that affected the claims reserve in both periods and a 2008 retroactive adjustment reducing capitation rates. Excluding the effect of prior period reserve developments in the 2009 and 2008 period, and considering the effect of the 2008 retroactive capitation adjustment, MLR decreased by 100 basis points. The improvement in MLR is related to the Commercial and Medicare Advantage segments, offset by an increase in MLR in the Reform business.

Operating expenses were up $6.2 million, or 16.8 percent, to $43.1 million, compared with the same period of last year. The increase is primarily attributed to the higher volume, particularly in the Medicare Advantage business, and, to a lesser extent, expenses related to the Metro-North region ASO contract. The segment's operating expense ratio rose 30 basis points, to 10.4 percent.

       Managed Care                Three months ended March 31,
       Additional Data                  2009         2008

       Member months enrollment
               Fully-insured         1,260,901    1,235,489
               Self-funded             579,092      496,062
                  Total Commercial   1,839,993    1,731,551

               Fully-insured           978,591    1,033,660
               Self-funded             560,578            -
                  Total Reform       1,539,169    1,033,660

               Medicare Advantage      198,616      157,791
               PDP                      29,657       32,738
                  Total Medicare       228,273      190,529
                  Total member
                   months            3,607,435    2,955,740

       Medical loss ratio                 91.5%        91.1%
           Commercial                     90.1%        90.7%
           Reform                         86.9%        91.4%
           Medicare                       96.6%        91.6%

       Operating expense ratio            10.4%        10.1%

       Managed Care                      As of  March 31,
       Membership by Segment            2009       2008

                 Fully-insured         422,197    412,692
                 Self-funded           191,349    163,517
                    Total Commercial   613,546    576,209

                 Fully-insured         332,659    343,534
                 Self-funded           189,072          -
                    Total Reform       521,731    343,534

                 Medicare Advantage     64,350     54,626
                 PDP                     9,836     10,912
                    Total Medicare      74,186     65,538

                    Total members    1,209,463    985,281

Share Repurchase Update

In October 2008, the Company's Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of $40 million of its common shares. Utilizing cash on hand, Triple-S has thus far repurchased approximately 2.9 million Class B shares at an average price of $12.12. The repurchase is being conducted in accordance with Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Triple-S continues to have approximately $5.2 million earmarked for share repurchases under its current Board authorization.

2009 Guidance

"We have raised our guidance for this year's earnings per share by $0.05 to reflect the accretion from our share repurchase program and adjusted the share count," said Ruiz-Comas. "All of our other performance metrics are tracking our prior expectations and remain unchanged."

    The Company's outlook for full year 2009 is as follows:

                                                 2009 Range
    Medical enrollment fully-insured
     (member months)                          9.53-9.95 million

    Medical enrollment self-insured
     (member months)                          4.45-4.55 million

    Consolidated operating revenues
     (in millions)                             $1.855-$1.930

    Consolidated loss ratio                     83.7%-84.7%

    Medical loss ratio                          88.0%-89.0%

    Consolidated operating expense
     ratio                                      15.0%-15.4%

    Consolidated operating income (in
     millions)                                  $88.5-$97.0

    Consolidated effective tax rate             26.0%-27.0%

    Earnings per share (includes $0.07
     net of tax in new IT system expenses)      $1.93-$2.03

    Weighted average of diluted shares
     outstanding (in millions)                     29.6

Conference Call and Webcast

Management will host a conference call and webcast Tuesday, May 5 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss its financial results for the first quarter of 2009, as well as expectations for future earnings. To participate, callers within the U.S. and Canada should dial 800-762-8779, and international callers should dial 480-248-5081 about five minutes before the presentation.

To listen to the webcast, participants should visit the Investor Relations section of the Company's Web site at several minutes before the event is broadcast and follow the instructions provided to ensure they have the necessary audio application downloaded and installed. This program is provided at no charge to the user. An archived version of the call, also located on the Investor Relations section of Triple-S Management's Web site, will be available about two hours after the call ends and for at least the following two weeks. This news release, along with other information relating to the call, will be available on the Investor Relations section of the Web site.

About Triple-S Management Corporation

Triple-S Management Corporation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. It is the largest managed care company in Puerto Rico, serving approximately 1.2 million members, or about 30% of the population, and has the exclusive right to use the Blue Shield name and mark throughout the country. With more than 50 years of experience in the industry, Triple-S Management offers a broad portfolio of managed care and related products in the commercial, Medicare, and Reform markets under the Blue Shield brand. In addition to its managed care business, Triple-S Management provides non-Blue Shield branded life and property and casualty insurance in Puerto Rico. The Company is the largest provider of life, accident, and health insurance and the fourth largest provider of property and casualty insurance in its market.

For more information about Triple-S Management, visit or contact

Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements, as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future sales, results of operations, developments, regulatory approvals or other circumstances. Sentences that include "believe", "expect", "plan", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "project", "may", "will", "shall", "should" and similar expressions, whether in the positive or negative, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements in this news release reflect management's current views about future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties. Consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed here as a result of various factors, including all the risks discussed and identified in public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In addition, the Company operates in a highly competitive, constantly changing environment, influenced by very large organizations that have resulted from business combinations, aggressive marketing and pricing practices of competitors, and regulatory oversight. The following factors, if markedly different from the Company's planning assumptions (either individually or in combination), could cause Triple-S Management's results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements shared here:

  • Trends in health care costs and utilization rates
  • Ability to secure sufficient premium rate increases
  • Competitor pricing below market trends of increasing costs
  • Re-estimates of policy and contract liabilities
  • Changes in government laws and regulations of managed care, life insurance or property and casualty insurance
  • Significant acquisitions or divestitures by major competitors
  • Introduction and use of new prescription drugs and technologies
  • A downgrade in the Company's financial strength ratings
  • Litigation or legislation targeted at managed care, life insurance or property and casualty insurance companies
  • Ability to contract with providers consistent with past practice
  • Ability to successfully implement the Company's disease management and utilization management programs
  • Volatility in the securities markets and investment losses and defaults
  • General economic downturns, major disasters, and epidemics

This list is not exhaustive. Management believes the forward-looking statements in this release are reasonable. However, there is no assurance that the actions, events or results anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if any of them do, what impact they will have on the Company's results of operations or financial condition. In view of these uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations. In addition, forward-looking statements are based on information available the day they are made, and (other than as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States) the Company does not intend to update or revise any of them in light of new information or future events.

Readers are advised to carefully review and consider the various disclosures in the Company's SEC reports.

                          -FINANCIAL TABLES ATTACHED-

                         Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
                   (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share data)

                                          March 31,    December 31,
                                            2009           2008

    Investments                           $947,041     $1,015,701
    Cash and cash equivalents              108,682         46,095
    Premium and other receivables, net     249,532        237,158
    Deferred policy acquisition costs
     and value of business acquired        128,442        126,347
    Property and equipment, net             59,125         58,448
    Other assets                            61,522         64,710

        Total assets                    $1,554,344     $1,548,459

       Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity

    Policy liabilities and accruals       $724,305       $690,080
    Accounts payable and accrued
     liabilities                           198,854        203,973
    Borrowings                             168,897        169,307

        Total liabilities                1,092,056      1,063,360

    Stockholders' equity:
      Common stock                          29,687         31,148
      Other stockholders equity            432,601        453,951

        Total stockholders' equity         462,288        485,099

        Total liabilities and
         stockholders' equity           $1,554,344     $1,548,459

                  Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings
               (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share data)

                              For the Three Months Ended
                                      March 31,
                              Unaudited      Historical
                                2009            2008
      Premiums earned, net    $452,484        $404,399
      Administrative service
       fees                      8,866           3,713
      Net investment income     12,541          13,432

        Total operating
         revenues              473,891         421,544

      Net realized investment
       (losses) gains           (1,727)            609
      Net unrealized investment
       loss on trading
       securities               (2,476)         (6,250)
      Other expenses, net         (379)         (1,521)

        Total revenues         469,309         414,382

    Benefits and expenses:
      Claims incurred          394,532         350,207
      Operating expenses        68,252          60,031

        Total operating costs  462,784         410,238

      Interest expense           3,264           3,673

        Total benefits
         and expenses          466,048         413,911

        Income before taxes      3,261             471

    Income tax benefit            (671)           (731)

        Net income              $3,932          $1,202

    Basic net income per share   $0.13           $0.04

    Diluted earnings per share   $0.13           $0.04

                  Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
                (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share data)

                                            For the Three Months Ended
                                                     March 31,
                                             Unaudited   Historical
                                                2009        2008
    Net cash provided by (used in) operating
     activities                                $29,961       $(610)

    Cash flows from investing activities:
      Proceeds from investments sold or matured:
        Securities available for sale:
          Fixed maturities sold                 56,136      67,267
          Fixed maturities matured             112,042      48,133
          Equity securities                      1,137           -
        Fixed maturity securities held
         to maturity                             2,666      22,863
      Acquisition of investments:
        Securities available for sale:
          Fixed maturities                    (105,263)   (322,974)
          Equity securities                     (1,579)    (12,143)
        Fixed maturity securities held
         to maturity                                 -      (5,120)
      Net disbursements for policy loans            21         376
      Capital expenditures                      (2,726)     (1,547)

            Net cash provided by (used in)
             investing activities               62,434     (203,145)

    Cash flows from financing activities:
      Change in outstanding checks in
       excess of bank balances                 (11,306)     15,446
      Change in short-term borrowings                -       9,825
      Repayments of long-term borrowings          (410)       (409)
      Repurchase and retirement of common
       stock                                   (17,256)          -
      Proceeds from policyholder deposits        1,169       2,611
      Surrenders of policyholder deposits       (2,005)     (1,673)
      Other                                          -         (14)

            Net cash provided by (used
             in) financing activities          (29,808)     25,786

            Net increase (decrease) in cash
             and cash equivalents               62,587    (177,969)

    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of
     period                                     46,095     240,153

    Cash and cash equivalents, end of period  $108,682     $62,184

SOURCE Triple-S Management Corporation
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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