Tax reform takes a bite out of Radian's 4Q earnings

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The changes to the tax code reduced Radian Group's fourth-quarter net income as the company took an incremental provision of $102.6 million.

The Philadelphia-based company had net income of $6.8 million for the quarter, compared with $61.1 million for the same period in 2016.

For the full year, Radian Group earned $121.1 million. Those results included the fourth-quarter tax provision as well as the $130.9 million impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets related to the restructuring of Clayton Holdings. Net income for 2016 was $308.3 million.

Radian's operating earnings per share of $0.51 beat B. Riley FBR's estimate of $0.44. This was attributable to lower mortgage insurance loss provisions, as well as good expense control and investment income, said analyst Randy Binner in a report.

New insurance written for the quarter of $14.4 billion was well ahead of Binner's estimate of $12.5 billion and an increase of 4% over the $13.9 billion written in same period last year.

For the full year, Radian did $53.9 billion of NIW, up 7% from $50.5 billion written in 2016.

When asked about Radian's take on NIW growth in 2018, "We want every NIW policy that fits our targets, so we want to be as aggressive and well positioned in the marketplace to drive growth in our portfolio and create economic value," said company CEO Rick Thornberry during the conference call. "But we do need to remain disciplined and not chase volume for volume's sake."

Total insurance-in-force was $200.7 billion, an increase of 9% from $183.5 billion at the end of 2016.

But because of defaults from borrowers unable to pay their mortgage because of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the inventory of delinquent loans increased by 17% over the third quarter to 27,922 from 23,826. New notices from areas affected by the storm increased to 7,051 loans from 2,934 loans.

Previously, Radian said because of hurricane-related defaults, its minimum required assets under the Primary Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Standards increased by $100 million during the fourth quarter. Going forward, it expects the amount of minimum assets required to decline as the majority of those defaults should cure in the six to nine months and not become a claim.

There were 1,617 cures involving loans that went into default from the hurricane areas in the fourth quarter, up from 859 in the third quarter.

Before the end of the quarter Radian increased its quota share reinsurance arrangements for single-premium policies and contributed $100 million to Radian Guaranty in exchange for a 0% surplus note that matures in 10 years.

Radian Guaranty should have a sufficient capital cushion to qualify under the proposed PMIERs 2.0 even without a need to take any further action, said Cathy Jackson, Radian's corporate controller during the conference call. "This is based on our projections for positive operating results in 2018, our strong capital and the benefits associated with our reinsurance program but it is not dependent on the existing surplus note."

Adjusted pretax operating income for the Clayton mortgage and real estate services business was $2.9 million for the quarter, compared with a third-quarter loss of $4.7 million and fourth-quarter 2016 income of $3.6 million.

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Earnings Tax reform Trump tax plan Stocks PMI Hurricane Harvey Hurricane Irma Radian