Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Crawford & Company  (NYSE:CRD-A) (NYSE:CRD-B)
Q4 2019 Earnings Call
March 06, 2020, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning. My name is Megan and I will be your conference facilitator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Crawford & Company Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Release Conference Call. In conjunction with this call, a supplementary financial presentation is available on our website at www.crawco.com under the Investor Relations section. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period. Instructions will follow at that time. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, ladies and gentlemen, this conference is being recorded today, Friday, March 6, 2020.

Some of the matters to be discussed in this conference call and in the supplementary financial presentation may include forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may relate to among other things, our expected future operating results and financial condition, our ability to grow our revenues and reduce our operating expenses, expectations regarding our anticipated contributions to our under-funded defined benefit pension plans, collectability of our billed and unbilled amounts, unreceived financial results from our recently compiled acquisitions, our continued compliance with the financial and other covenants contained in our financing agreements, our long-term capital resource and liquidity responsibilities and our ability to pay dividends in the future. The company's actual results achieved in future quarters could differ materially from results that may be implied by such forward-looking statements.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly release revisions to any forward-looking statements made in this conference call to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of the call or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. In addition, you're reminded that operating results for any historical period are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any future period. For a complete discussion regarding factors which could affect the company's financial performance, please refer to the company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly the information under the headings Risk Factors and Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, as well as subsequent company filings with SEC. This presentation also includes certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined under SEC rules. As required, a reconciliation is provided for those measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures.

I would now like to introduce Mr. Harsha Agadi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Crawford & Company. Harsha, you may begin your conference.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, and welcome to our fourth quarter and full-year 2019 earnings call. Joining me today is Bruce Swain, our Chief Financial Officer. After our prepared remarks, we will open the call for your questions. Let me begin by providing a quick overview of our results for 2019. For the year, we reported GAAP revenues before reimbursements of $1 billion and net income to shareholders of $12.5 million. On a non-GAAP basis, we reported revenues before reimbursements of $1.03 billion, net income attributable to shareholders of $37 million, operating earnings of $79 million and adjusted EBITDA of $113 million. Adjusting for the significant reduction in weather-related surge revenues in 2019, which I will discuss in a moment, our underlying revenues grew by 1.3% in 2019.

Over the course of 2019, we accomplished many key business objectives, while making progress toward achieving Crawford's long-term strategic goals. First and foremost, we added over 600 new client programs this past year, which underscores the strength of our expanded offerings. This momentum is supporting a strong sales culture for our team and we are aligned and motivated to accelerate our new business initiatives. Also, we further improved our cash flow in 2019 with our free cash flow growing more than $31 million year-over-year. In 2020, we intend to maintain our focus of increasing our cash flow generation and further enhancing our financial strength and flexibility. Despite disappointing top line performance, driven by lower weather-related claims and volumes, and delays in the on-boarding of new clients, we believe that we will remain well-positioned to execute on our strategy to achieve sustained future revenue and earnings growth.

The investments we have made in our global sales teams are beginning to pay off, as we expanded our global reach, continue to invest in new product development and strengthen our brand's perception to a forward-looking and innovative claims solution provider. Our new product introductions are creating additional entry points for our sales teams. In fact, we ended 2019 with the strongest sales pipeline in our company's history at nearly $250 million, proving that we're making the right investments to attract and acquire new clients. We have also continued to invest in our IT capabilities to provide best-in-class solutions for our clients. Over the long term, we view this as an important driver of operating leverage.

Our investments in our global sales teams and IT capabilities have led to an increase in the number and size of companies interested in our solutions. Through the fourth quarter, we have signed $81 million in annual revenue from new clients, which gives us confidence that we will attain in the future revenue and profit growth across all lines of our business. In Crawford Claims Solutions, momentum is building as the revenues from a top 5 carrier increased and our top 3 clients in the UK renewed their contracts for the next two to five years. In addition, we are pleased to have recently signed a multi-year contract with a top 5 carrier for which we will be one of two service providers handling the carrier's CAT and flood claims in the United States.

Due to the size, scale and complexity of large carriers, the on-boarding process can take at least 18 months to fully ramp up a flagship client. This is very exciting new client win, demonstrating our momentum of expanded relationships and we expect this client to be a meaningful contributor to our long-term growth story. In our TPA business, 2019 was one of our strongest sales year to-date, acquiring 168 new clients globally, with expected revenues of $45 million annually. At the same time, we experienced a few isolated client losses outside of our control. Despite the new business wins during the year, the volume of claims did not materialize as quickly as we would have expected to offset these losses. That said, we remain very confident in this business and believe the growth and strength of this segment remain key components to our long-term growth and diversification strategy.

Crawford Specialty Solutions added new programs and increased service density to current clients, capitalizing on additional points of sale within our client base. Global Technical Services contributed positive revenues globally, while it added new programs for clients. The company is evaluating potential M&A opportunities to expand our capabilities in new areas. For example, our 2019 acquisition in Belgium, Penta is now servicing Crawford clients across Europe, which were not previously handled by Penta. GTS is now responding to claims from the Australian bush fires and recent UK and European winter storms, which will likely benefit us beginning in the second quarter. Similarly, Contractor Connection added new programs, including a roofing program for our [Phonetic] current Top 5 carrier client. Our tailored One Crawford vertical solutions continue to gain traction in the market, with the construction, hospitality and transportation verticals attracting a fast-growing pipeline.

Entering 2020, we have 170 opportunities in these verticals worth over $20 million in annualized revenue. We are targeting to increase market share in the small and medium carrier market. These clients will play an increasing role within the growth of our business, as our offerings allow the small and medium-sized businesses to benefit from Crawford's industry-leading outsourced solutions. Although our growth in 2019 was impeded by multiple external factors, we are focusing on the areas we can control in our business. We are acutely aware of volatility of our performance due to weather in any given year, which was heightened in 2019, given relatively few weather-related events. Our revenues from weather surge events dropped to approximately $83 million in 2019, down from $110 million in 2018.

However, this decline is in line with the market trends for 2019, which we are seeing continue into the first quarter of 2020. This decrease was also seen in lower case loads received this past year from our historically strong carrier clients who were able to handle more claims in-house because their adjusters were not responding to as many adverse weather events. It is important to note, our case loads have not declined due to client losses. While we will continue to intensify our efforts to grow our non-weather-related businesses, parts of our business will always be subject to the occurrence of weather events. Given the volatility in our results as of late, we are taking a critical look at the expectations we've set for the company externally. That said, we are proud of our achievements during 2019.

We are optimistic in our ability to grow revenue and earnings in 2020, as we see great opportunities in the road ahead for Crawford. The overall benign weather in 2019 had an impact on our results. That said, it is inconceivable to us that in the future, catastrophic weather events will not continue as this is when our clients lean on us the most. Our teams are prepared for these events in the future. As demonstrated by the UK floods, Australian bush fires and the recent Nashville storms, we have developed the capabilities to handle high volume of claims. While there were a few of these events in 2019 which were devastatingly severe, they primarily occurred outside of our current geographic footprint, example, Japan.

This is a strong indicator as to why our strategy to build our global presence is the right path for Crawford in order to service our clients when and where they need us to handle large scale claims. In the near future, we expect to further expand our presence in international markets that have the opportunity for Crawford to add scale and drive growth. While the coronavirus is impacting many parts of the world, we do not expect to see a major surge in claims volume from the virus, as pandemics are typically excluded from most business interruption policies. At this time, we are closely monitoring the developments related to the virus and the potential impacts it may have on our global operations.

As a primary objective, our management team has also been focused on strengthening the company's cash generation, while delivering value to shareholders through a disciplined capital allocation strategy. In doing so, we ended 2019 with a strong balance sheet with leverage at a three-year low at around 1.5 times net funded debt-to-EBITDA and cash flows at a three-year high. Our financial strength leaves us well-positioned to pursue strategic bolt-on acquisitions in key markets where we see opportunities. Also, 2019 was a record year for share buybacks, as we bought back over 5% of the stock.

Moving forward, we intend to continue our share repurchase program as we see our shares trading significantly below their intrinsic value, while also delivering a meaningful dividend yield as part of our capital allocation strategy. We believe a buying back shares is one of the best investments we can make in the company and over time we expect to return greater value to our shareholders.

With that, let me turn the call over to Bruce to review the financial results of the fourth quarter in more detail.

W. Bruce Swain, Jr. -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you Harsha. Companywide revenues before reimbursements in the 2019 fourth quarter were $247.2 million, compared with $263.8 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, the company saw revenues before reimbursements of $253.3 million, down 4% from $263.8 million in the 2018 quarter. Our net income attributable to shareholders of Crawford & Company totaled a loss of $7.3 million in the 2019 fourth quarter, compared to income of $11.9 million in the 2018 period. Fourth quarter 2019 diluted loss per share was $0.13 for CRD-A and $0.15 for CRD-B, compared with diluted earnings per share of $0.22 for CRD-A and $0.20 for CRD-B in the 2018 period.

On a non-GAAP basis, fourth quarter 2019 diluted earnings per share were $0.16 for CRD-A and $0.14 for CRD-B, as compared to 2018 diluted earnings per share of $0.32 for CRD-A and $0.30 for CRD-B. The company's non-GAAP operating earnings totaled $17.2 million in the 2019 fourth quarter or 6.8% of revenues, compared with $32.2 million or 12.2% of revenues in the prior-year period. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA was $27.9 million in the 2019 fourth quarter or 11% of revenues, compared to $41.4 million or 15.7% of revenues in the 2018 quarter. I will now review the fourth quarter performance of each of our segments.

Revenues for Crawford TPA Solutions were $97 million in the 2019 fourth quarter, down from $102.2 million in the 2018 period.

Absent foreign exchange rate fluctuations of $1 million, fourth quarter 2019 revenues would have been $98 million. Crawford TPA Solutions' operating earnings were $6.1 million during the current quarter compared to last year's fourth quarter operating earnings of $12.9 million. The operating margin in this segment was 6.3% in the 2019 quarter and 12.6% in the 2018 quarter. Revenues from the Crawford Claims Solutions segment totaled $84.3 million, decreasing from the $92.2 million reported in last year's quarter. Absent foreign exchange rate fluctuations of $3 million, fourth quarter 2019 revenues would have been $87.3 million. Operating earnings in the segment were $3.6 million in the 2019 fourth quarter or 4.2% of revenues, compared to operating earnings of $6.2 million or 6.7% of revenues in the prior-year quarter.

Crawford Specialty Solutions revenues were $65.9 million in the 2019 fourth quarter, down from $69.4 million in the prior-year quarter. Absent foreign exchange rate fluctuations of $2.1 million, revenues would have been $68 million for the quarter. Operating earnings in Crawford Specialty Solutions totaled $11.2 million in the 2019 fourth quarter or 17% of revenues, compared to operating earnings of $15.1 million or 21.8% of revenues in the 2018 fourth quarter. The company's cash and cash equivalent position at December 31, 2019 totaled $51.8 million compared to $53.1 million at the 2018 year-end. Our investment in unbilled and billed receivables has decreased by $7.3 million during 2019, reflecting our focus on improving our billing and collections practice.

Our defined benefit pension plan liability decreased by $8.4 million due to strong asset returns during 2019. The company's total debt outstanding as of December 31, 2019 totaled $177 million compared with $190.4 million at December 31, 2018, demonstrating our continued financial strength and flexibility, a competitive advantage that allows us for the continued investment in our business. Net debt is at the lowest level since the 2016 year-end. Cash provided by operations totaled $75.2 million for 2019, increasing 43.5% over the $52.4 million provided by operations in the prior year. The $22.8 million improvement in cash flow was primarily due to lower pension contributions and lower working capital requirements.

Our free cash flow improved by $31.7 million year-over-year, aided by lower capital expenditures in 2019 as compared to 2018. In the upcoming year, we expect our capital expenditures to be $33 million, an increase from 2019, which will primarily be allocated toward software development and technology investments. These expenditures are part of our effort to stay ahead of the curve and better service our clients. That said, we will continue to maintain free cash flow generation as a top priority for the company.

During the 2019 fourth quarter, the company repurchased approximately 50,000 shares of CRD-B at an average cost of $9.65. On a full year basis during 2019, the company repurchased approximately 1.1 million shares of CRD-A and over 1.7 million shares of CRD-B, at an average cost of $9.33 and $9.17 respectively.

The company repurchased over 5% of total shares outstanding in 2019. And the cost of share repurchases during 2019 was $26.2 million. At year-end, the company had remaining authorization to repurchase approximately 959,000 shares under the 2019 repurchase authorization. To a significant extent, Crawford's business depends on claims volumes. The company cannot predict the future trend of claim volumes for a number of reasons, including the fact that the frequency and severity of weather-related claims and the occurrence of natural and man-made disasters, which are a significant source of claims and revenue for the company are generally not subject to accurate forecasting.

Initial guidance for 2020 is as follows. Consolidated revenues before reimbursements between $1.0 billion and $1.05 billion, net income attributable to shareholders of Crawford & Company between $37.5 million and $42.5 million or $0.73 to $0.83 per diluted CRD-A share and $0.65 to $0.75 per diluted CRD-B share, consolidated operating earnings between $80 million and $90 million, and consolidated adjusted EBITDA between $115 million and $125 million.

With that, I would like to turn the call back to Harsha for concluding remarks.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Bruce. 2019 was a year of challenges as well as achievements for Crawford. From a governance perspective, we were proud to recently announce a new board member Dame Inga Beale, who comes to us from Lloyd's of London. She was the first female CEO in the global insurance and reinsurance market's 352-year history. With the election of Dame Inga, three of nine Directors are female, which elevates Crawford to a select group of companies that push above the 30% threshold of female Directors. We are proud of the company's commitments and actions as we know that our diversity initiatives make us a stronger and smarter company. This initiative in conjunction with our recently established office of diversity and inclusion further encompasses our continued efforts to promote an inclusive culture across our more than 700 offices globally.

We are excited as we view these milestones as essential in advancing Crawford's mission of restoring and enhancing lives, businesses and communities. Our momentum from new business is stronger than ever. Our investments within our sales teams globally are expected to continue the excitement surrounding our pipeline and client acquisition as we target improvements in the velocity of our revenue growth. We will continue to make strategic investments in technology that will add value to our clients and provide Crawford with an innovative edge. Beginning in 2020, our claims fabric platform serving our loss adjusting business in Crawford Claims Solutions and Global Technical Services will provide real-time integration of Crawford systems with external clients and partners.

This single platform will become the hub of all information sharing within Crawford Claims Solutions and will start to roll out in the second quarter of 2020. With our continued focus on improving our financial strength, we are driving cash flow growth, while continuing to deliver meaningful returns to shareholders. As always, we will continue to carefully evaluate the company's capital expenditures and increasing operating and administrative efficiency where we see opportunities to do so. Over the long term, we are confident we're building the right platform to serve small, medium and large insurance carriers and we are committed to the strategic direction we have set for the company.

Even with the benign weather in 2019, a robust pipeline and the extensive number of new client wins from the year show Crawford's potential and how we're building to capitalize on additional areas of growth. Given the market conditions, we continue to believe carriers of all sizes will be attracted to our outsourcing model and look for a partner of the size, scale and quality of Crawford to provide Claims Solutions anywhere in the world. With that in mind, we are increasingly confident in Crawford's outlook and optimistic about the opportunities for the company that lay ahead in all aspects of the business as we pursue the path to achieving sustained revenue and earnings growth.

Thank you again for your time today. Operator, please open the call for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question is from Mark Hughes with SunTrust. Your line is open.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thank you. Good morning.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Mark.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

The 1.3% underlying revenue growth, was that for full year or is that for fourth quarter?

W. Bruce Swain, Jr. -- Chief Financial Officer

That's for full year. Yes.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

When we think about the guidance for 2020, how are you looking at that underlying growth number?

W. Bruce Swain, Jr. -- Chief Financial Officer

So as we think about the guidance for 2020, we're giving some recognition to the fact that there is a significant part of our business that's impacted by weather, and there is an inherent unpredictability in that. So, we had a few drops in our guidance in 2019. We want to set ourselves up for '20 by establishing what we hope to be a conservative figure initially for 2020 and wait to see our growth initiatives take hold as we go throughout the year. As Harsha mentioned, the soft weather that we saw ending 2019, we've seen continue into the first quarter of 2020. So that also colors our outlook for the year.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

And I think in addition, Mark, with the number of wins we've had in 2019, the clients have started up and they're spread throughout the year in terms of start times. And as each quarter progresses, we should see this continue to build in a forward momentum. And as also Bruce mentioned, we are being conservative and careful with the guidance.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

Do you think, if we look at it on an underlying basis, kind of adjusting for weather, are you looking at positive growth? Is it low-single-digit for 2020?

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

We are definitely looking at positive growth and I would say low-single-digits would be a good answer. And sorry, one more thing, Mark, as I mentioned, we signed a brand new contract with a Top 5 carrier where we're one of two service providers and we're going to be focusing on daily CAT and flood claims. And that we've just signed the contract, that will start building and it's a significant contract. So all of that is helping us point in the right direction.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

As we think about the TPA business, I think the margins that you've seen some top line pressure, the margins were down there. What -- is that just a timing issue? Are you -- do you anticipate that you'll be able to streamline costs perhaps to fit the revenue? I think you're down maybe -- the margin was 6% versus 12% last year. How do we think about that margin in 2020?

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Sure. So first of all, the first response to you is, it is timing. As we have had significant number of new clients sign up as well as some have already started and some others are starting. So when there is delayed timing, that puts pressure. The second is, we did see cost opportunities, as you rightly pointed out, and we've actually taken some early action in Q1 already to reflect and recognize that slowness in revenue. So to us, 2020, we should see TPA continuing to move in the right direction and kind of going back onto its trajectory in terms of upward growth as well as margin accretion.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

And then on Crawford Claims Solutions, your gross profit was up as a percentage year-over-year. Your operating profit was down a few points. Is that another opportunity to get some cost improvement?

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Correct, it is another opportunity. Your conclusion is accurate, and we've actually taken some action there as well. And going back to TPA, I should mention one more thing. The other big change that we went through last year positive changes, we've started to gain a lot of carrier traction in TPA and we have a number of clients that have signed up and that have started up business in the New Year.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

And then the -- Bruce, the cash from operations, obviously quite strong this year. Is there some help from acceleration of receivables, anything like that that would be not necessarily repeatable in 2020 or is this kind of $75 million, is that a decent baseline?

W. Bruce Swain, Jr. -- Chief Financial Officer

Well, for 2020, we certainly look to exceed this and continue to grow our cash flow from operations. We think there is still room to improve our unbilled and billed accounts receivable and we're going to be pushing on that through 2020. One benefit that we got in '19 was a lack of defined benefit pension plan contribution. So we basically didn't make any contributions to our DB plan in the US during 2019. We didn't make any in the UK either. For 2020, we expect to make $9 million of contributions in the US, still zero in the UK. In the UK, we think we're -- at this point done funding those plans. They're in an over-funded position currently. But in the US, we expect to make $9 million of contributions each year over the next five years. So that will be a piece of it but we don't think that contribution is going to result in a material change in our outlook of growing our operating and free cash flow year-over-year.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

Are you able to do some sort of pension risk transfer in the UK and just take that off your books completely?

W. Bruce Swain, Jr. -- Chief Financial Officer

We're looking at that and we've actually annuitized in the US for a couple of years looking at transferring off some of those liabilities. So that's an ongoing effort that we have. It's not a complete transfer of the book, but we are transferring tranches of those liabilities and we'll continue to look at that in 2020 as well.

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thank you.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Mark.

Operator

Your next question is from Greg Peters with Raymond James. Your line is open.

Greg Peters -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Good morning.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Greg.

Greg Peters -- Raymond James -- Analyst

I'm going to have to say that Mark covered all the questions I had. So maybe in the -- since he covered those questions, maybe you can just step back. Harsha, I understand and appreciate the enthusiasm and optimistic outlook that you have painted for the company for this upcoming year. And I just -- one of the challenges we have as we're sitting here crunching numbers is just trying to reconcile the optimism with the reality of the fourth quarter results and the challenges. So maybe you could just step back and tell us how strategically you think the company is positioned for the next three to five years because clearly this past year was a challenge for the company.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Good question, Greg. So let me just go by line of business to keep it simple and straight. First, the company's emphasis on an overall basis on growth and sales being front and center, we have beefed up our sales force and continue to do so. So for example, we're adding sales talent into our CCS branches. Within TPA, we have enforced and improved our relationships with brokers who play a big role in the TPA space. Within GTS, we've done the same with broker relationships and we've beefed up our GTS sales force and we have signed up, Greg, as I mentioned, we have a new contract with a Top 5 carrier. It is significant and it is starting to get ready. We in fact are going to have a center in Dallas. We're hiring lots and lots of people to get ready for this, whether [Phonetic] -- even though that was our, if you will, complaint in 2019, where the carrier had record results. And actually the record results was lower claims due to the benign weather. Interestingly, the Australian bush fires, the UK floods, the European winter storms, all of that has kicked in already and it's more ramp-up going on. The other piece I should mention is, I do believe and so does the team, there is reduction possible in our operating expenses and also to make some of our expenses variable to revenue and therefore have a better bottom line. We've taken action already in February as it relates to that. And we should have sufficient, if you will, cushion to withstand if benign weather continues forward. Having said that, despite the optimism, I do believe, Greg, our guidance is fairly conservative as we're showing in our guidance just a little bit of growth and we're showing that our bottom end of the guidance is going to be slightly higher in terms of bottom line than last year.

The top end of the guidance will show how much growth is actually possible during the year. Now, we've had significant kick in on clients starting up, we should start seeing some of that traction as well and some of it has begun, and it should only pick up. So we should be able to see quarter-to-quarter a fair amount of improvement throughout the year and we have budgeted internally, Greg, very benign weather in our plans just to be conservative. Last year was one of the lowest weather-related events in the year for the United States and in fact it was 14% below the average for the last 10 years. Having said that, the early weather activity is definitely in the favor of our revenue and we will continue to pay [Phonetic] that down.

We'll continue to look at certain bolt-on acquisitions that make a meaningful difference. We continue to be very choosy on the acquisitions because, as the CEO, capital allocation is a pretty focused job for me to make sure, are we buying shares back at the right value, are we making the right acquisitions and some of the acquisitions we're looking at which are bolt-on either giving us additional geography or additional solutions that we can offer our thousands of clients is going to make a big difference to the growth of the company.

Greg Peters -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Thank you very much for that detailed answer. It strikes me that you're in a delicate balance because you're trying to invest in sales initiatives and yet manage your costs and you highlighted some of the investments you've made in the sales initiatives and deepening your outreach. What about some of the initiatives that you've deployed to reduce expenses? Can you talk about that in a little more detail?

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Sure. We have kind of gone through companywide, I should say, in identifying opportunities where either you have duplication of processes or look for opportunities to reduce layers in management. And we see some more that might exist. And having said that, we've already gone ahead and taken, I'll use the word pre-emptive action, regardless of what the outcome for the year is, we said we'll move early so that we get a majority of the gain into 2020. So we've done some of that already. There might be some more to do, but we've taken a large piece of the action already.

Greg Peters -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Perfect.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

You don't see that, because we're yet to report Q1 and Q2 and Q3. So you don't see that. But you should see that come through in the future years.

Greg Peters -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Okay. Great, thank you for your answers.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

Future quarters, sorry. Thank you.

Greg Peters -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Yes.

Operator

At this time, I'll turn the call back to management for closing remarks.

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

I do want to take a moment and thank the management team, all levels of the management team immensely for going through a challenging 2019 and thank the investors and the board for supporting the team throughout this last year, as well as really looking forward to the growth in both top line and bottom line in 2020. Thank you very much.

Operator

Thank you for participating in today's Crawford & Company conference call. This call will be available for replay beginning at 11:30 AM today through 11.59 PM on April 6, 2020. The conference ID number for the replay is 645-84-97. The number to dial for the replay is 1855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406. [Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 44 minutes

Call participants:

Harsha V. Agadi -- President & Chief Executive Officer

W. Bruce Swain, Jr. -- Chief Financial Officer

Mark Hughes -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Capital Markets -- Analyst

Greg Peters -- Raymond James -- Analyst

More CRD.B analysis

Transcript powered by AlphaStreet

This article is a transcript of this conference call produced for The Motley Fool. While we strive for our Foolish Best, there may be errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in this transcript. As with all our articles, The Motley Fool does not assume any responsibility for your use of this content, and we strongly encourage you to do your own research, including listening to the call yourself and reading the company's SEC filings. Please see our Terms and Conditions for additional details, including our Obligatory Capitalized Disclaimers of Liability.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.