Summary of GREAT AMERICAN FINANCIAL RESOURCES INC - Yahoo! Finance
Management's Discussion and Analysis
of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Index to MD&A
Page Page General 11 Results of Operations 20 Overview 11 General 20 Critical Accounting Policies 13 Income Items 21 Liquidity and Capital Resources 15 Expense Items 23 Ratios 15 Other Items 24 Sources and Uses of Funds 15 Recent Accounting Standards 24 Contractual Obligations 16 Independent Ratings 16 Investments 17
Please refer to "Forward-Looking Statements" following the index in front of this Form 10-K.
Following is a discussion and analysis of the financial statements and other statistical data that management believes will enhance the understanding of the financial condition and results of operations of Great American Financial Resources, Inc. ("GAFRI" or "the Company"). This discussion should be read in conjunction with the financial statements beginning on page F-1.
GAFRI and its subsidiary, AAG Holding Company, Inc., are organized as holding companies with nearly all of their operations being conducted by their subsidiaries. These companies, however, have continuing expenditures for administrative expenses, corporate services and for the payment of interest and principal on borrowings and stockholder dividends.
Through the operations of its insurance subsidiaries, GAFRI is engaged in the sale of retirement annuities and various forms of supplemental insurance products.
GAFRI has significantly strengthened its capital and liquidity over the last several years. Since December 31, 2002, stockholders' equity (excluding unrealized gains) grew by more than $376 million (56%) to $1.0 billion and its debt to capital ratio decreased from more than 36% to approximately 20%; in addition, the statutory adjusted capital of GAFRI's largest insurance subsidiary increased $260 million (54%) to $746 million.
Interest Rate Risk To monitor interest rate risk, GAFRI devotes extensive effort to evaluating the potential impact of changes in interest rates on cash flows and duration of assets and liabilities. Activities include the projection of business in force under many different interest rate scenarios, including non-parallel shifts in interest rates, to examine the impact of changes in both the level of interest rates and the shape of the yield curve. At least quarterly, GAFRI determines the duration of its assets and liabilities to help manage differences. A smaller difference in the duration of assets and liabilities indicates less exposure to the risk of changes in interest rates.
At the same time, perfectly matched durations can often be overly risk-averse, resulting in less than optimal profits and added exposure to the risk of falling interest rates. The merit of a modest amount of mismatch depends on current market conditions. At December 31, 2006, the duration of GAFRI's assets and liabilities were 5.3 years and 5.4 years, respectively.
At December 31, 2006, the fair value of GAFRI's fixed maturity portfolio was approximately 0.2% higher than its book value. If interest rates were to immediately increase 50 basis points from levels at December 31, 2006, GAFRI estimates that the fair value of the Company's fixed maturity portfolio would be approximately 2.5% lower than its book value. Under this scenario, higher than expected surrenders would have very little impact on the liquidity, earnings or capital of GAFRI or its subsidiaries.
GAFRI seeks to earn a stable and appropriate spread between investment income and interest credited on its fixed annuity products. Adverse experience on investments may cause spreads to be reduced. Alternatively, if GAFRI seeks to maintain spreads, crediting rates may not be competitive in the marketplace, which could result in adverse policy surrender experience and the need to liquidate a portion of the investment portfolio at a loss, or use funds from new sales in order to fund cash surrender value benefits.
Provided interest rates continue to gradually return to levels that are more typical from a long-term perspective, GAFRI does not view the near-term risk relating to spreads over the next twelve months as being material. Management believes that the impact of the probable range of interest rate changes over the next twelve months will be mitigated by the Company's asset-liability management strategies, flexibility in adjusting policy crediting rate levels and protection afforded by policy surrender charges. The interest rate scenarios that could have a higher negative impact on earnings are those in which there is a substantial, relatively rapid increase or decrease in interest rates that is then sustained over a long period. Management does not believe these scenarios are likely.
Fixed Annuities GAFRI's traditional fixed annuity reserves comprise approximately 70% of the Company's total insurance reserves. GAFRI may adjust renewal crediting rates on its deferred annuities monthly or quarterly, subject to guaranteed minimum interest rates ("GMIR") ranging from 1% to 4% and other contractual guarantees. The higher minimums apply to in-force blocks of older products that are no longer marketed. Many annuity insurance customers have the right to surrender their policies at account value less a surrender charge that grades to zero over periods that generally range from 5 to 10 years from policy issue date. In some cases, policyholders can only gain the benefit of a higher-tier accumulation rate upon death, or if they annuitize rather than surrender. In other cases, a market value adjustment may also apply. Due to GAFRI's ability to change crediting rates to reflect investment experience on the majority of its traditional annuity products, the underlying assets are assumed to be a good balance for the interest rate risk inherent in these liabilities. The Company believes this assumption is appropriate for probable movements in interest rates over the next 12 months.
GAFRI believes that its exposure to interest rate risk, particularly a rising interest rate environment, is mitigated by the nature of its annuity business. The Company's primary strategic business is in the flexible premium, teachers' 403(b) market. Historically, this market has proven to be less interest rate and lapse sensitive than other annuity markets, as demonstrated in the persistency table below, which illustrates GALIC's annual persistency rates for its major fixed annuity product groups over the past five years. Persistency rates reflect the proportion of reserves maintained by the Company and not paid out in the form of surrenders, annuitizations or death benefits during the applicable year:
Persistency Rates Product Group 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 Flexible premium 92% 92% 94% 94% 92% Single premium* 87 87 88 89 90
* Excludes surrenders on recently acquired closed blocks of business.
Persistency rates are affected by many of the same factors that affect annuity sales. Although the stock market and interest rate environment affect persistency in the Company's fixed rate annuities, management believes that its persistency rate has benefited from the low interest rate environment and the two-tier design of certain of its in-force products. Two account values are maintained for two-tier annuities - the annuitization (or upper-tier) value and the surrender (or lower-tier) value. The annuitization value is paid upon a policyholder's death or election to annuitize (withdraw funds in a series of periodic payments for at least the minimum number of years specified in the policy). If a lump-sum payment is chosen by the policyholder, the surrender value is paid in most circumstances. GALIC's two-tier annuities are particularly attractive to policyholders that intend to accumulate funds to provide retirement income since the annuitization value is often accumulated at a higher interest rate.
Moreover, due to the two-tier nature of many of its annuity products, GAFRI has significant surrender charge protection, averaging approximately 10% of the annuitization value. While the Company continues to receive premiums on in-force two-tier annuities, it no longer sells this type of annuity. (For additional information on risks associated with GAFRI's two-tier annuities, see Note O to the Financial Statements.) In total, nearly 75% of the Company's annuity reserves had a surrender charge of 5% or greater at December 31, 2006, and nearly 35% had a surrender charge of 10% or greater. While it is likely that persistency will decrease (i) as more policies begin to emerge out of their surrender charge period and (ii) in a rising interest rate environment, the Company believes it should not experience surrender rates that will have a material impact on its financial condition.
Interest rates have generally been low in recent years. Should interest rates remain at December 31, 2006 levels, the average earned rate of return on GAFRI's annuity investment portfolios will decline. Declining portfolio yields may cause the spreads between investment portfolio yields and the interest rate credited to policyholders to narrow, as GAFRI's ability to manage spreads can become limited by GMIRs on its fixed annuity policies. The GMIRs on annuity policies range from 1% to 4%, with a weighted average guaranteed rate of approximately 3.4%. The following table provides detail of the differences between the current interest rates being credited to policyholders and the respective GMIRs at the end of 2006. As of December 31, 2006, new policies are being issued with a GMIR of 3%.
GMIR Range Average Weighted Difference Percent GMIR Average of Total Credited Reserves Rate Less than 3% 2.31% 3.28% 0.97% 9.8% 3.00%-3.99% 3.01% 3.66% 0.65% 43.5% 4.00% and greater 4.01% 4.06% 0.05% 46.7% 3.41% 3.81% 0.40% 100.0%
The maturity structure and call provisions of a portion of GAFRI's investment asset portfolio are constructed to afford some protection against erosion of investment portfolio yields during periods of declining interest rates. GAFRI devotes extensive effort to evaluating the risks associated with falling interest rates by simulating asset and liability cash flows for a wide range of interest rate scenarios. GAFRI seeks to manage these exposures by maintaining a suitable maturity structure and by limiting its exposure to call risk in its investment portfolios. For a discussion of GAFRI's investment in mortgage-backed securities, see "Investments."
Indexed-Annuities Indexed-annuities comprised nearly 9% of the Company's insurance reserves at December 31, 2006. Indexed-annuities have interest rate risk similar to other fixed annuities. They have contractually guaranteed minimum surrender values, the majority of the asset portfolio backing them is invested in fixed income securities similar to other fixed deferred annuities, and GAFRI seeks to earn a spread on those fixed income assets. GAFRI purchases index options, which hedges the policyholders' index participation, minimizing equity market risk.
Variable Annuities Variable annuity policyholders may choose to invest a portion of their funds in a "fixed" option; these fixed funds represented less than 2% of GAFRI's total insurance reserves at December 31, 2006, and have interest rate risk similar to other fixed annuities. (For additional information on risks associated with GAFRI's variable annuities, see Note O to the Financial Statements.)
The Company believes its exposure to interest rate risk will not result in a material impact on capital, earnings, operations or liquidity. In the unlikely event that a material impact occurs, GAFRI believes that it has adequate resources to meet its liquidity or capital needs (see "Liquidity and Capital Resources").
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Significant accounting policies are described in Note B to the Financial Statements. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") requires management to make estimates and assumptions that can have a significant effect on amounts reported in the financial statements. As more information becomes known, these estimates and assumptions could change and thus impact amounts reported in the future. Management believes that the following items are the areas where
the degree of judgment required to determine amounts recorded in the financial statements make the accounting policies critical:
� The recoverability of unamortized insurance acquisition costs; � The establishment of insurance reserves; � The determination of "other than temporary" impairments on investments; and
� Environmental reserves with respect to GAFRI's former manufacturing operations.
Recoverability of Unamortized Insurance Acquisition Costs and Establishment of Insurance Reserves The carrying value of certain assets (primarily deferred policy acquisition costs ("DPAC")), liabilities for excess deaths and annuitization reserves ("EDAR") and unearned revenues ("UREV") are based, in part, upon assumed
interest rates and investment spreads, surrenders, annuitizations, renewal premiums and mortality. Actual results have varied from these assumptions in the past and have caused these accounting estimates to change (see "Results of Operations - Insurance Acquisition Expenses"), and could cause the Company's accounting estimates to change in the future. The Company performs an in-depth review of its assumptions and tests for recoverability on an annual basis as well as more limited reviews on a quarterly basis. If necessary, DPAC, UREV and EDAR balances may be adjusted ("unlocked") up or down based on new assumptions.
Approximately 40% of GAFRI's fixed annuity liabilities at December 31, 2006, were two-tier in nature in that policyholders can receive a higher amount if they die or if they annuitize rather than surrender their policy, even if the surrender charge period has expired. For these policies, reserves are recorded at their lower-tier value plus additional reserves for (i) accrued persistency and premium bonuses and (ii) excess benefits expected to be paid on future deaths and annuitizations that require payment of the upper-tier value. The liability for EDAR (approximately $200 million at December 31, 2006) is accrued for and modified using assumptions consistent with those used in determining DPAC and DPAC amortization. Actual experience and changes in actuarial assumptions and tests for recoverability have caused GAFRI's accounting estimates to change in the past and could cause the Company's accounting estimates to change in the future (see "Results of Operations - Annuity Benefits," "Item 7A - Annuity Contracts" and Note O to the Financial Statements).
GAFRI's variable annuity separate account assets and liabilities have equity market risk in that a sustained, significant change in the stock market could impact (i) variable annuity fees earned by GAFRI, since such fees are based on the market value of the underlying funds, and (ii) the carrying value of related DPAC. Furthermore, certain variable policies have features that provide for guaranteed minimum death benefits in excess of GAFRI's separate account liabilities. A sustained, significant decrease in the stock market, combined with an increase in the amount of death benefits or certain other withdrawals, could materially impact DPAC and liabilities. Variations in actual equity market performance from previous assumptions have caused these accounting estimates to change in the past (see "Results of Operations - Insurance Acquisition Expenses" and Note O to the Financial Statements).
Determination of "Other Than Temporary" Impairments on Investments The Company performs an in-depth review of its investments on a quarterly basis (see "Liquidity and Capital Resources - Investments," "Results of Operations - Realized Gains (Losses)",: and "Item 7A - Fixed Maturity Portfolio").
Environmental Reserves The Company's balance sheet includes a liability of
$13.4 million for the estimated future costs of environmental clean-up activities at certain sites from the Company's former manufacturing operations as well as third-party sites. The Company performs an in-depth review of this reserve on an annual basis as well as more limited reviews on a quarterly basis. The primary risk in setting this reserve is that the actual future costs will be greater than the assumed costs. See Note M to the Financial Statements.
The Company believes its exposure to the risks referred to above, including interest rate and market risk, will not result in a material impact on capital, earnings, operations or liquidity at either the holding company or subsidiary level. In the unlikely event that a material impact occurs, GAFRI believes that it has adequate resources to meet its liquidity and capital needs (see "Liquidity and Capital Resources").
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
Ratios GAFRI's consolidated debt to capital ratio is shown below (dollars in millions). For purposes of this calculation, consolidated debt includes long-term debt and payable to subsidiary trusts; capital represents the sum of consolidated debt and stockholders' equity (excluding unrealized gains on fixed maturity securities).
December 31, 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 Consolidated Debt $ 273 $ 342 $ 363 $ 369 $ 393 Stockholders' Equity 1,064 949 895 805 689 Total Capital $1,337 $1,291 $1,258 $1,174 $1,082 Consolidated Debt to Capital 20.4% 26.5% 28.9% 31.4% 36.3%
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' ("NAIC") risk-based capital ("RBC") formula determines the amount of capital that an insurance company needs to ensure that it has an acceptable expectation of not becoming financially impaired. At December 31, 2006, the capital ratio of GAFRI's principal insurance subsidiary was 6.8 times its authorized control level RBC compared to 5.7 times at December 31, 2002.
Sources and Uses of Funds
Parent Holding Company Liquidity To pay interest and principal on borrowings and other holding company costs, GAFRI (parent) and AAG Holding use primarily capital distributions from Great American Life Insurance Company ("GALIC") and newly acquired Ceres Group, Inc., bank borrowings and cash and investments on hand. Capital distributions from GAFRI's insurance subsidiaries are subject to regulatory restrictions relating to statutory surplus and earnings. The maximum amount of dividends payable by GALIC and Ceres' subsidiaries in 2007 without prior regulatory approval is $121 million and $19 million, respectively. In 2006, GALIC paid $147.7 million in dividends to GAFRI.
In March 2006, the Company replaced its existing credit agreement with a $500 million five-year credit facility shared with its parent company, American Financial Group, Inc. Under terms of the agreement, GAFRI may borrow up to $175 million with the ability to borrow up to $200 million, conditioned on AFG not borrowing in excess of $300 million. No amounts were outstanding under this agreement at December 31, 2006. Amounts borrowed bear interest at rates ranging from 0.5% to 1.25% over LIBOR based on AFG's credit rating; the current rate would be 0.75% over LIBOR. Under a currently effective shelf registration, GAFRI and AAG Holding can issue up to $250 million in additional equity or debt securities. See Note Q to the Financial Statements for information relating to AFG's proposed merger transaction with GAFRI.
On August 7, 2006, GAFRI (parent) acquired all of the outstanding shares of Ceres for $204.4 million in cash. To fund the acquisition, GAFRI used cash on hand and borrowings under its bank line. Following the acquisition and the concurrent reinsurance transactions, Ceres distributed $60 million to GAFRI. GAFRI used a portion of the distribution to repay all amounts borrowed under its bank line in connection with the acquisition. GAFRI expects that Ceres' insurance subsidiaries will have the capability to potentially pay up to $50 million of additional dividends in 2007, subject to regulatory approval.
In 2006, GAFRI repurchased $68.5 million principal amount of its 6-7/8% Senior Notes for $70.8 million. In the fourth quarter of 2005, GAFRI repurchased $20.8 million of its 8-7/8% preferred securities for $22.6 million in cash.
GAFRI believes that it has sufficient resources to meet its liquidity requirements.
Subsidiary Liquidity The liquidity requirements of GAFRI's insurance subsidiaries relate primarily to the liabilities associated with their products as well as operating costs and expenses, and the payments of dividends and taxes to GAFRI. Historically, cash flows from maturities of bonds held in the investment portfolio, premiums and investment income have far exceeded the funds needed to meet these requirements without forcing the sale of investments or requiring contributions from GAFRI. Funds received in excess of cash requirements are generally invested in additional marketable securities. In addition, the insurance subsidiaries generally hold an adequate amount of highly liquid, short-term investments.
In GAFRI's annuity business, where profitability is largely dependent on earning a "spread" between invested assets and annuity liabilities, the duration of investments is generally maintained close to that of liabilities. With declining rates, GAFRI receives some protection due to the ability to lower crediting rates, subject to guaranteed minimums. In a rising interest rate environment, significant protection from withdrawals exists in the form of temporary and permanent surrender charges on GAFRI's annuity products. Annuity surrenders (after surrender fees) totaled approximately $856 million in 2006 compared to $625 million and $562 million in 2005 and 2004, respectively. Management believes the increase in surrenders is due to (i) expected surrenders from recent acquisitions of blocks of annuity business; (ii) the higher interest rate environment; and (iii) policies coming out of their surrender charge periods.
In recent years, the Company's insurance subsidiaries have entered into several
reinsurance transactions in connection with (i) the sale of Great American Life
Assurance Company of Puerto Rico ("GA-PR"), (ii) the acquisition of Ceres, and
(iii) certain of its life and supplemental insurance operations. These transactions provided additional capital and liquidity and were entered into in the normal course of business in order to exit certain lines, fund acquisitions and transfer risk. The Company may enter into additional reinsurance transactions in the future.
GAFRI believes its insurance subsidiaries maintain sufficient liquidity to pay claims and benefits, operating expenses, dividends and tax payments, as well as meet commitments in the event of unforeseen events such as reserve deficiencies, inadequate premium rates or reinsurer insolvencies.
Contractual Obligations The following table shows an estimate of payments to be made for insurance liabilities, as well as for material contractual obligations (in millions):
Total 2008-2009 2010-2011 2007 Thereafter Insurance Liabilities $10,871.4 $1,255.9 $2,205.4 $1,996.8 $5,413.3 Long term debt 273.1 22.1(1) 31.7 0.1 219.2 Interest on long term debt 440.0 19.2 33.4 32.3 355.1 Operating Leases 49.7 4.9 10.1 9.9 24.8 Total $11,634.2 $1,302.1 $2,280.6 $2,039.1 $6,012.4
(1) Includes the retirement of approximately $22 million of the Company's 8-7/8% notes. (See Note Q to the Financial Statements).
Reserve projections for insurance liabilities in the table above include anticipated cash benefit payments only. The projections were based on historical patterns and expected trends and do not include any impact for future earnings or additional premiums. GAFRI expects operating cash flows to be sufficient to meet these obligations.
GAFRI has no material contractual purchase obligations or other long-term liabilities at December 31, 2006.
Independent Ratings The Company's principal insurance subsidiaries ("Insurance Companies") are rated by A.M. Best, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's. Management believes that the ratings assigned by independent insurance rating agencies are important because agents, potential policyholders and school districts often use a company's rating as an initial screening device in considering annuity products. Management believes that (i) a rating in the "A" category by A.M. Best is necessary to successfully market tax-deferred annuities to public education employees and other not-for-profit groups; and (ii) a rating in the "A" category by at least one rating agency is necessary to successfully compete in other annuity markets. GAFRI's insurance entities also compete in markets other than the sale of tax-deferred annuities. Ratings are an important competitive factor; management believes that these entities can successfully compete in these markets with their respective ratings.
GAFRI's operations could be materially and adversely affected by ratings downgrades. In connection with recent reviews by independent rating agencies, management indicated that it intends to maintain lower ratios of debt to capital than it has in recent years and intends to maintain the capital of its significant insurance subsidiaries at levels currently indicated by the rating agencies as appropriate for the current ratings. Items that could adversely affect capital levels include (i) an extended period of low interest rates and a resulting significant narrowing of annuity "spread" (the difference between earnings received by the Company on its investments less the amount credited to policyholders' annuity
accounts); (ii) investment impairments; (iii) a sustained decrease in the stock market; (iv) adverse mortality or morbidity; (v) changes in capital levels associated with current rating agency requirements; and (vi) higher than planned dividends paid due to liquidity needs by GAFRI and AAG Holding.
Following are the Company's ratings as of December 31, 2006:
Standard A.M. Best Fitch & Poor's GALIC* A (Excellent) A+ (Strong) A- (Strong) AILIC A (Excellent) A+ (Strong) A- (Strong) Loyal A (Excellent) A+ (Strong) Not rated
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