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N.C.-Based Investors Title Announces Q3 Results

November 5, 2013

Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Investors Title Co. reported net income increased 75 percent to $5.5 million during the third quarter of 2013 when compared with the prior year quarter.

According to a release, company revenues increased 4.1 percent versus the prior year quarter, primarily due to a 4.9 percent increase in net premiums written. The premium growth reflects higher levels of purchase transactions, as well as increases in average home values in many parts of the nation, driven by improvement in the overall economy. Refinance volume continued its downward trend, reflecting a rising interest rate environment over the course of 2013.

“We were pleased to see a continuation in the third quarter of recent increases in the volume of home sales as well as general increases in home prices,” said J. Allen Fine, chairman of Investor’s Title. “Despite moderation in refinance activity, these factors contributed to an all-time high level of revenue for the quarter. Earnings were impacted favorably by changes to actuarial assumptions reflecting improved claims experience in recent years. We continue to focus on enhancing our competitive strengths and capitalizing on opportunities to profitably expand our market presence."

Of Investors Title’s $30.4 million in net premiums written, 78 percent was generated through its agency network, while 22 percent came from branch operations.

Operating expenses decreased 8.1 percent during the third quarter compared to the same period a year ago. The company attributed the decrease to lower claims expense, partially offset by increases in other expense categories. The provision for claims includes a reduction in the reserves for claims of approximately $2.4 million. This reflects a change in estimate related to certain actuarial assumptions that stems from improved claims experience in recent post-recession policy years, the company reported. The increase in payroll expense was largely driven by higher staffing levels to support ongoing software development, and increased benefits and incentive compensation, the company reported.

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