Unum provides business update and 2017 outlook
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Unum Group (NYSE: UNM) today hosted an Investor Day in New York City, including a business update and outlook for 2017. President and Chief Executive Officer Rick McKenney and other members of Unum’s executive management team provided an update on the state of the company, including presentations from business segment leaders, and the outlook for 2017.
Unum expects after-tax operating income per share growth in a range of 3 percent to 6 percent for 2017. Additionally, Unum reiterated its expectations for 2016 full year after-tax operating income per share growth at-to-slightly above the upper end of the range of 3 percent to 6 percent.
“Our performance in 2016 has demonstrated the strength of our brand and reputation, as our core business segments, with best-in-class operating margins, have continued to show their resilience in a volatile market environment,” said McKenney. “We enter 2017 from a position of strength, with leading market positions, and our focus continues to be on disciplined execution and enhancing our risk management capabilities. Our capital generation model remains strong and we will maintain a balanced approach when deploying resources, by investing to fuel growth in our core businesses, and returning capital to shareholders.”
A webcast replay of the presentation and presentation materials will be available today on the unum.com website.
ABOUT UNUM GROUP
Unum (www.unum.com) is one of the leading providers of employee benefits products and services and the largest provider of disability insurance products in the United States and the United Kingdom.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES
We analyze our performance using non-GAAP financial measures. A non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company's performance, financial position, or cash flows that excludes or includes amounts that are not normally excluded or included in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. The non-GAAP financial measure of "after-tax operating income" differs from net income as presented in our consolidated operating results and income statements prepared in accordance with GAAP due to the exclusion of net realized investment gains and losses and non-operating retirement-related gains or losses. We believe operating income is a better performance measure and better indicator of the profitability and underlying trends in our business.
Realized investment gains or losses depend on market conditions and do not necessarily relate to decisions regarding the underlying business of our segments. Our investment focus is on investment income to support our insurance liabilities as opposed to the generation of realized investment gains or losses. Although we may experience realized investment gains or losses which will affect future earnings levels, a long-term focus is necessary to maintain profitability over the life of the business since our underlying business is long-term in nature, and we need to earn the interest rates assumed in calculating our liabilities.
The amortization of prior period actuarial gains or losses, a component of the net periodic benefit cost for our pensions and other postretirement benefit plans, is driven by market performance as well as plan amendments and is not indicative of the operational results of our businesses. We believe that excluding the amortization of prior period gains or losses from operating income or loss provides investors with additional information for comparison and analysis of our operating results. Although we manage our non-operating retirement-related gains or losses separately from the operational performance of our business, these gains or losses impact the overall profitability of our company and have historically increased or decreased over time, depending on plan amendments and market conditions and the resulting impact on the actuarial gains or losses in our pensions and other postretirement benefit plans.
We may at other times exclude certain other items from our discussion of financial ratios and metrics in order to enhance the understanding and comparability of our operational performance and the underlying fundamentals, but this exclusion is not an indication that similar items may not recur and does not replace net income or net loss as a measure of our overall profitability.
Information reconciling the Company’s outlook on after-tax operating income growth per share to the comparable GAAP financial measure is not provided. The only amounts excluded from after-tax operating income are those described in the preceding paragraphs. While the amortization of prior period actuarial gains or losses in our net periodic benefit cost for our pensions and other postretirement benefit plans is generally consistent in a given annual period and can reasonably be predicted, the Company is unable to predict with reasonable certainty realized investment gains and losses, which are affected by overall market conditions and also by factors such as an economic or political change in the country of the issuer, a regulatory change pertaining to the issuer’s industry, a significant improvement or deterioration in the cash flows of the issuer, unforeseen accounting irregularities or fraud committed by an issuer, movement in credit spreads, ratings upgrades or downgrades, a change in the issuer’s marketplace or business prospects, or any other event that significantly affects the issuers of the fixed maturity securities which the Company holds in its investment portfolio.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Certain information in this press release constitutes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are those not based on historical information, but rather relate to our outlook, future operations, strategies, financial results, or other developments and speak only as of the date made. These forward-looking statements, including statements about anticipated growth in after-tax operating income per share, are subject to numerous assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. The following factors, in addition to other factors mentioned from time to time, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements: (1) sustained periods of low interest rates; (2) fluctuation in insurance reserve liabilities and claim payments due to changes in claim incidence, recovery rates, mortality and morbidity rates, and policy benefit offsets due to, among other factors, the rate of unemployment and consumer confidence, the emergence of new diseases, epidemics, or pandemics, new trends and developments in medical treatments, the effectiveness of our claims operational processes, and changes in government programs; (3) unfavorable economic or business conditions, both domestic and foreign; (4) legislative, regulatory, or tax changes, both domestic and foreign, including the effect of potential legislation and increased regulation in the current political environment; (5) investment results, including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates, defaults, changes in credit spreads, impairments, and the lack of appropriate investments in the market which can be acquired to match our liabilities; (6) a cyber attack or other security breach could result in the unauthorized acquisition of confidential data; (7) the failure of our business recovery and incident management processes to resume our business operations in the event of a natural catastrophe, cyber attack, or other event; (8) increased competition from other insurers and financial services companies due to industry consolidation, new entrants to our markets, or other factors; (9) execution risk related to our technology needs; (10) changes in our financial strength and credit ratings; (11) damage to our reputation due to, among other factors, regulatory investigations, legal proceedings, external events, and/or inadequate or failed internal controls and procedures; (12) actual experience that deviates from our assumptions used in pricing, underwriting, and reserving; (13) actual persistency and/or sales growth that is higher or lower than projected; (14) changes in demand for our products due to, among other factors, changes in societal attitudes, the rate of unemployment, consumer confidence, and/or legislative and regulatory changes, including healthcare reform; (15) effectiveness of our risk management program; (16) contingencies and the level and results of litigation; (17) availability of reinsurance in the market and the ability of our reinsurers to meet their obligations to us; (18) ineffectiveness of our derivatives hedging programs due to changes in the economic environment, counterparty risk, ratings downgrades, capital market volatility, changes in interest rates, and/or regulation; (19) changes in accounting standards, practices, or policies; (20) fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rates; (21) ability to generate sufficient internal liquidity and/or obtain external financing; (22) recoverability and/or realization of the carrying value of our intangible assets, long-lived assets, and deferred tax assets; and (23) terrorism, both within the U.S. and abroad, ongoing military actions, and heightened security measures in response to these types of threats.
For further discussion of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see Part 1, Item 1A “ Risk Factors” of our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and, to the extent applicable, our subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this press release are being made as of the date of this press release, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein, even if made available on our website or otherwise.
Tom White, 423-294-8996
Matt Barnett, 423-294-7498
Jim Sabourin, 423-294-6300