Predictably, White Mountains
For the fourth quarter, results were stellar. White Mountains posted net income of $300 million, up from $33 million last year. The latest quarter's results have been helped by favorable weather conditions, while last year's results were marred by hurricane-induced losses. Adjusted comprehensive income for the year increased to $734 million -- compared to $68 million last year. The results included a $171 million gain on sale when White Mountains sold 27.6% of its subsidiary, OneBeacon
For the year, net income doubled to $673 million from $293 million last year, and tangible book value per share increased 21% for the year to $406 million. However, much of the improvement in net income was driven by the gain on sale.
The gift that keeps on taking
White Mountains' reinsurance segment's fourth-quarter combined ratio of 85% (indicating a 15% underwriting profit) was in line with competitors such as Markel
Esurance, White Mountains' direct-to-consumer auto insurance business, which competes with Berkshire Hathaway's
Although last year's hefty losses hurt White Mountains' yearly results, the company has a great long-term track record. The troubles incurred by 2005's hurricane season should prove a mere hiccup in the long run.
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Fool contributor Emil Lee is an analyst and a disciple of value investing. He owns shares in Montpelier Re. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Emil appreciates comments, concerns, and complaints.