Primerica, Inc. released its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021, including total revenues of $724.1 million, a 21% increase over the fourth quarter of 2020. Adjusted net operating income was $117 million and diluted adjusted operating earnings per share were $2.94, a 20% increase for both over the prior year’s quarter.
COVID continued to impact Primerica’s Term Life segment favorably. Over 75,000 new term life insurance policies were issued during the fourth quarter and after peaking, still remain 5% above pre-pandemic levels. When compared to full year 2020, the Term Life segment operating income was up 11% before income taxes. This strong segment increased the company’s pre-tax operating income by $24 million.
“Results in our term life insurance and investment businesses were strong, reflecting clients’ continued priority for protection products and investing for the future,” said Glenn Williams, Chief Executive Officer. “Performance in our newly added Senior Health segment was weaker than expected reflecting meaningful headwinds around policy churn and contract acquisition costs. These factors, among others, led to the goodwill impairment recognized in the segment this period.”
The company’s life insurance licensed sales force was down from the previous year, with 129,515 at the end of 2021, compared to 134,907 at the end of 2020. However, the company believes that adjusting for COVID-related temporary measures, that number has remained relatively unchanged. Pandemic-related pressures resulted in a 23% decrease in licensure during the fourth quarter of 2021.
Favorable equity markets and investor confidence positively impacted the Investment and Savings Products category. Investment product sales exceeded $3 billion, a 46% increase from last year’s quarter, and net client inflows were almost twice as high as the previous year’s quarter. Client asset values were up almost 20% at the end of the year from 2020, totaling $97.3 billion.
During the fourth quarter, $19 million of the authorized $50 million of additional authorized repurchase of the company’s common stock was deployed. The total amount authorized through the end of 2022 now amounts to $325 million. The board of directors also approved a 17% increase in dividends for stockholders, or $0.55 per share, which will be payable on March 14, 2022 to stockholders of record on February 22, 2022.