Investors Title Announces First Quarter 2012 Financial Results

May 8, 2012

Investors Title Co. reported net income of $1.4 million during the first quarter of 2012.

Total revenues increased 11.9 percent versus the prior year period to $22,414,274, primarily due to a 10.1 percent increase in net premiums written. Historically low interest rates drove a substantial increase in refinance activity versus the prior year period. Purchase activity was up as well, although to a lesser extent. New industry-wide premium charges for North Carolina that went into effect during the quarter also contributed to growth in premium revenue.

Total expenses increased 9.6 percent versus the prior year period, primarily due to increases in variable expenses such as commissions and the provision for claims, which fluctuate with premium volumes. The provision for claims as a percentage of net premiums written was 8.3 percent versus 4 percent in the prior year period due to an increase in volume in states with a higher average loss ratio, and an abnormally low claims expense in the prior year period. In addition, the company continues to benefit from long-term reductions in operating expenses such as occupancy and operating costs in its branches due to an emphasis on expense control over the past few years.

"We are pleased with the uptick in mortgage lending activity and our first quarter results,” said Chairman J. Allen Fine. “Operating expenses were largely in line with recent quarterly trends adjusting for the improvement in activity levels, although we expect them to trend higher as we increase our investment in a number of software development initiatives.”