Publicly traded life insurers repurchased $4.9 billion in shares in 2013: A.M. Best

Some of the repurchase activity in 2013 was driven by the 67% increase in life/annuity share prices and the desire to offset the dilutive effect of in-the-money stock options and warrants on earnings per share (EPS), A.M. Best said.

Since 2009, publicly traded life insurers have returned more than $33 billion (38% of industry operating earnings) to investors through capital management activity, such as share repurchases, according to a new brief from A.M. Best Co., Inc.

A.M. Best analysts expect repurchase activity to continue in 2014 as life insurers have shown increased profitability and improved balance sheet strength, and have large share repurchase programs in place.

AM Best share repurchases

“Based on recent discussions with several company management teams, A.M. Best expects insurers to continue approving measured quarterly dividend increases rather than special, one-time dividends or large jumps in repurchase activity,” the report said.

For a copy of the three-page report, click here.

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