I was a little concerned when I read of the new Brazil developments in the 10K. “Separately, the Company has recently become aware that the Brazilian authorities have commenced an investigation into possible violations of Brazilian criminal law in connection with the issuance of the Company's insurance policies to Brazilian residents, and in assistance of such investigation a Commissioner appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has issued a subpoena upon the Company to provide information relating to such possible violations. Because the Company has only recently become aware of this investigation, no conclusion can be drawn at this time as to its outcome or how such outcome may impact the Company's business, results of operations or financial condition. The Company plans to cooperate with the relevant governmental authorities in regard to this matter.”
For the year ended December 31, 2014, the Company reported consolidated net earnings of $105.6 million, or $29.85 per diluted Class A common share, compared with $96.2 million, or $27.19 per diluted Class A common share, a year ago. The Company's book value per share increased to $428.01 as of December 31, 2014 from $398.36 at December 31, 2013.
"Business activity in the fourth quarter finished the year strongly. Annuity sales increased 9% in the fourth quarter of this year compared to last year and life insurance sales increased 6% for the same period. Life insurance sales, in particular, performed well and were up 31% over this year's third quarter."
Earnings from operations for the full year of $98.0 million, or $27.72 per diluted Class A common share, represented an increase of 8% over the 2013 amount of $90.6 million, or $25.60 per diluted Class A common share.
"This past year was a very successful one from an operational standpoint. We decreased operating expenses and benefited from a lower incidence of claims and improved policy benefit experience," Mr. Moody indicated.
"We are a buy and hold company given the importance of maintaining discipline in matching asset durations with that of our policyholder liabilities. More often than not, in a low interest rate
environment, realized investment gains are the byproduct of bond calls and tenders. Our bond portfolio again performed very well with over 98% of our holdings rated investment grade at the end of the year and we continued our experience of the past several years of avoiding any significant impairments."