AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Ross R. Moody, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of National Western Life Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today 2023 consolidated net earnings of $94.4 million, or $26.71 per diluted share of Class A Common Stock, compared with restated consolidated net earnings of $246.5 million, or $69.71 per diluted share of Class A Common Stock for 2022. The Company's book value per share as of December 31, 2023 was $670.99.

The Company's reported results were prepared in accordance with the liability accounting methodology required under the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts ("LDTI") accounting standard effective for publicly traded companies in 2023. A retrospective transition date of January 1, 2021 was elected and financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 were restated. The Company's pretax earnings for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 include an expense/(benefit) of $68.1 million and $(135.7) million, respectively, for changes in the Market Risk Benefits liability, a new liability category created under LDTI. Unlike previous accounting guidance, the contracts and contract features subject to liability measurement as Market Risk Benefits are measured at fair value, which is largely determined based upon interest rate levels in effect at each respective reporting date.

Commenting on the reported results, Mr. Moody noted, "The new accounting standard produced a swing in pretax earnings in excess of $200 million, which covered over the Company's many accomplishments in 2023. We experienced significant gains in our investment returns, enjoyed improved mortality experience on our blocks of business, and, excluding the increase in our equity award expense accruals caused by the sizable increase in our stock price, we pared back our operating expenses substantially. All of this was accomplished in the context of successfully achieving our goal of reaching a merger agreement with Prosperity Life Group early in the fourth quarter of the year." 

Mr. Moody added, "Stockholders of National Western Life Group, Inc. overwhelmingly voted to approve the merger agreement at a special stockholders meeting held in January. We are steadily working through the remaining required conditions to closing, most notably the approval of various insurance regulators, and continue to expect to close the deal in the first half of 2024."

National Western Life Group, Inc. is the parent organization of National Western Life Insurance Company, which is the parent organization of Ozark National Life Insurance Company, both stock life insurance companies in aggregate offering a broad portfolio of individual universal life, whole life and term insurance plans, as well as annuity products. At December 31, 2023, the Company maintained consolidated total assets of $12.3 billion, consolidated stockholders' equity of $2.4 billion, and combined life insurance in force of $18.0 billion.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
This press release contains statements which are or may be viewed as forward-looking within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 2005. Forward-looking statements relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments, and are subject to assumptions, risks, and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties also include, (1) the timing of completion of the proposed merger (the "Proposed Transaction") contemplated by the Company's October 8, 2023 merger agreement (the "Merger Agreement") with S. USA Life Insurance Company, Inc. ("S.USA") and its direct wholly owned subsidiary ("PGH Merger Inc.") is uncertain; (2) the conditions to the closing of the Proposed Transaction may not be satisfied; (3) regulatory approvals required for the Proposed Transaction may not be obtained, or required regulatory approvals may delay the Proposed Transaction or result in the imposition of conditions that could have a material adverse effect on the Company or S.USA or cause certain conditions to the closing to not be satisfied, which could result in the termination of the Merger Agreement; (4) the business of the Company or S.USA could suffer as a result of uncertainty surrounding the Proposed Transaction; (5) events, changes or other circumstances could occur that could give rise to the termination of the Merger Agreement; (6) there are risks related to disruption of management's attention from the ongoing business operations of the Company or S.USA due to the Proposed Transaction; (7) the announcement or pendency of the Proposed Transaction could affect the relationships of the Company or S.USA with its clients, and operating results and business generally, including its ability to retain and attract employees; (8) the outcome of any legal proceedings initiated against the Company or S.USA following the announcement of the Proposed Transaction could adversely affect the Company or S.USA, including their ability to consummate the Proposed Transaction; and (9) the Company or S.USA mat be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors as well as management's response to any of the factors described in this paragraph. The foregoing review of important factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included herein and elsewhere, including the risk factors included in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and other documents of the Company on file with the SEC. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update, correct or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company and/or any person acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this section.


Summary of Consolidated Financial Results (Unaudited)


Three Months Ended


Twelve Months Ended

(In thousands except per share data)


December 31,


December 31,












2023


2022


2023


2022

Revenues:









Revenues, excluding investment and index option gains
(losses)

$

172,620


158,985


636,879


640,545

Realized and unrealized gains (losses) on index options


35,366

            


2,308


40,612


(86,866)

Realized gains (losses) on investments


(117)


50


25,859


6,355

Total revenues


207,869


161,343


703,350


560,034










Benefits and expenses:









Life and other policy benefits


34,213


41,173


117,648


128,654

Policy benefit remeasurement (gains) and losses




8,360


9,827

Market risk benefits expense


61,397


14,320


68,130


(135,749)

Amortization of deferred transaction costs


19,735


21,053


83,335


88,602

Universal life and annuity contract interest


52,255


20,374


104,996


22,840

Other operating expenses


61,639


43,526


191,196


135,817

Total benefits and expenses


229,239


140,446


573,665


249,991










Earnings (loss) before income taxes


(21,370)


20,897


129,685


310,043

Income tax expense (benefit)


(9,135)


3,663


35,255


63,532

Net earnings (loss)

$

(12,235)


17,234


94,430


246,511










Net earnings (loss) attributable to Class A shares

$

(11,889)


16,746


91,759


239,540










Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Class A Share

$

(3.46)


4.87


26.71


69.71










Diluted Weighted Average Class A Shares


3,436


3,436


3,436


3,436
















December 31,


December 31,







2023


2022

Book value per share





$

670.99


602.56

Less: Per share impact of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)






(88.72)


(131.52)

Book value per share, excluding accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) *





$

759.71


734.08



*

Book value per share excluding accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) totaled $(322.6) million at December 31, 2023 and $(478.2) million at December 31, 2022. Since accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) fluctuates from quarter to quarter due to unrealized changes in the fair value of investments caused primarily by changes in market interest rates, National Western Life Group, Inc. believes this financial measure provides useful supplemental information.

 

Investor Relations Contact:
Brian M. Pribyl - Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
(512) 836-1010
bpribyl@nwlic.com
www.nwlgi.com

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SOURCE National Western Life Group, Inc.

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