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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of The Progressive Corporation and Most Members; Upgrades Issuer Credit Ratings of American Strategic Insurance Corp. and Its Affiliates

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OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa” of most members of The Progressive Corporation (Progressive) (Mayfield Village, OH). Concurrently, AM Best has upgraded the Long-Term ICRs to “aa” from “aa-” and affirmed the FSR of A+ (Superior) of American Strategic Insurance Corp. (American Strategic) (St. Petersburg, FL) and its affiliates that are now part of Progressive. Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a” and all Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of all senior issuances and the preferred stock issuance of the parent holding company, Progressive. Also, AM Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a+” of National Continental Insurance Company (National Continental) (Bohemia, NY). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings).

The ratings of Progressive reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, very favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

Progressive’s risk-adjusted capitalization has benefited from consistently favorable underwriting results and high levels of investment income, as well as sizable realized and unrealized capital gains. Progressive continues to benefit from a seasoned and stable management team, brand name recognition, multiple channel distribution platform, and innovative underwriting and claims handling technology. In addition, Progressive continues to experience strong premium growth, reflective of its widespread brand recognition. Progressive’s auto results have outperformed competitors in recent years despite the impacts of frequency and severity throughout the automobile insurance industry, due mainly to its sophisticated data mining and pricing techniques. These positive rating factors are offset partially by Progressive’s high underwriting leverage relative to industry averages. However, Progressive has operated historically with elevated underwriting leverage, while consistently generating favorable underwriting results with very low levels of volatility.

The Long-Term ICR upgrade of American Strategic Insurance Corp. reflects its growing importance within the organization given Progressive’s efforts to increase the share of multi-product households through bundling. Bundled products are an integral part of Progressive’s offerings and an important part of the company’s strategic agenda.

The ratings of National Continental reflect the company’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate ERM. Additionally, the ratings recognize the financial strength, infrastructure and technological capabilities afforded as a subsidiary of Progressive.

The FSR of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term ICRs of “aa” have been affirmed with stable outlooks for the following members of The Progressive Corporation:

  • Progressive Casualty Insurance Company
  • Progressive Northern Insurance Company
  • Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company
  • Progressive Specialty Insurance Company
  • Progressive Preferred Insurance Company
  • Progressive Classic Insurance Company
  • Progressive American Insurance Company
  • Progressive Gulf Insurance Company
  • Progressive Bayside Insurance Company
  • Progressive Mountain Insurance Company
  • Progressive Southeastern Insurance Company
  • Progressive Hawaii Insurance Corp.
  • Progressive Michigan Insurance Company
  • Progressive Security Insurance Company
  • Progressive West Insurance Company
  • Drive New Jersey Insurance Company
  • Progressive County Mutual Insurance Company
  • Progressive Direct Insurance Company
  • Progressive Marathon Insurance Company
  • Progressive Max Insurance Company
  • Progressive Advanced Insurance Company
  • Progressive Universal Insurance Company
  • Progressive Premier Insurance Company of Illinois
  • Progressive Paloverde Insurance Company
  • Mountain Laurel Assurance Company
  • Progressive Select Insurance Company
  • Progressive Garden State Insurance Company
  • United Financial Casualty Company
  • Artisan and Truckers Casualty Company
  • Progressive Express Insurance Company

The Long-Term ICRs have been upgraded to “aa” from “aa­-” and the FSR of A+ (Superior) affirmed, with stable outlooks for American Strategic Insurance Corp. and the following affiliates:

  • ASI Assurance Corp.
  • ASI Home Insurance Corp.
  • ASI Lloyds
  • ASI Preferred Insurance Corp.
  • ASI Select Insurance Corp.
  • Progressive Property Insurance Company

The FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a+” have been affirmed with a stable outlook for National Continental Insurance Company.

The Long-Term ICR of “a” and the following Long-Term IRs of The Progressive Corporation have been affirmed with stable outlooks:

The Progressive Corporation—

— “a” on $500 million 3.75% senior unsecured notes, due 2021

— “a” on $500 million 2.45% senior unsecured notes, due 2027

— “a” on $300 million 6.625% senior unsecured notes, due 2029

— “a” on $550 million 4.00% senior unsecured notes, due 2029

— “a” on $400 million 6.250% senior unsecured notes, due 2032

— “a” on $350 million 4.35% senior unsecured debentures, due 2044

— “a” on $400 million 3.7% senior unsecured notes, due 2045

— “a” on $850 million 4.125% senior unsecured notes, due 2047

— “a” on $600 million 4.2% senior unsecured notes, due 2048

— “bbb+” on $500 million 5.375% cumulative preferred stock

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit www.ambest.com for more information.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Edin Imsirovic

Senior Financial Analyst

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5740

edin.imsirovic@ambest.com

Raymond Thomson CPCU, ARe, ARM

Director

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5621

raymond.thomson@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey

Manager, Public Relations

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy

Director, Public Relations

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644

james.peavy@ambest.com

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Business Wire

INVESTOR ALERT: Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces the Filing of a Securities Class Action on Behalf of SAExploration Holdings, Inc. Investors (SAEX)

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BENSALEM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$SAEX–Law Offices of Howard G. Smith announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors who purchased SAExploration Holdings, Inc. (“SAExploration” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: SAEX) securities between March 15, 2016 and August 15, 2019, inclusive (the “Class Period”). SAExploration investors have until October 17, 2019 to file a lead plaintiff motion.

Investors suffering losses on their SAExploration investments are encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Howard G. Smith to discuss their legal rights in this class action at 888-638-4847 or by email to howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com.

On August 15, 2019, SAExploration revealed that certain accounting matters that arose in 2015-2016 were under investigation by the SEC. The Company stated that they would restate its previously issued financial statements for fiscal years 2015 through 2018 and delay filing its 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2019. The Company’s Chief Executive Officer was placed on administrative leave, and its Chief Financial Officer was terminated from his position.

On this news, the Company’s share price fell $1.13 per share, or over 34%, to close at $2.14 per share on August 16, 2019, thereby injuring investors.

The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that the Company improperly did not classify Alaska Seismic Ventures, LLC (“ASV”) as a variable interest entity; (2) that the Company had a controlling financial interest in ASV, which required the Company to consolidate ASV in its financial statements; (3) that the Company had deficient internal controls over financial reporting; (4) that these practices were likely to lead to an investigation of the Company by the SEC; (5) that SAExploration would be forced to delay the filing of its quarterly report for the quarter ended June 30, 2019; and (6) that as a result, Defendants’ statements about SAExploration’s business, operations and prospects were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.

If you purchased SAExploration securities have information or would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith, Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at (215) 638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com, or visit our website at www.howardsmithlaw.com.

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.

Contacts

Law Offices of Howard G. Smith

Howard G. Smith, Esquire

215-638-4847

888-638-4847

howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com

www.howardsmithlaw.com

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Business Wire

Thomas Rodriguez Joins Kleinfelder as Executive Vice President and East Division Director

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EXTON, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kleinfelder announced today that Thomas Rodriguez has joined the firm as Executive Vice President and East Division Director. Rodriguez is a results-driven leader with significant experience directing multi-disciplined operations and leading teams to drive profitable growth. Based in Kleinfelder’s Exton office, Rodriguez will oversee operations throughout Kleinfelder’s East Division.

“Tom will be a significant asset to Kleinfelder’s leadership team as we continue to position our business to best capitalize on existing and emerging market opportunities,” commented Louis Armstrong, President. “His diverse skill sets, experience, and knowledge of our markets will be invaluable as he leads our East Division operations in strategic initiatives that drive growth and create new opportunities for our staff.”

An accomplished professional with versatile experience, Rodriguez has a strong technical foundation in addition to a proven track record in operations management, enterprise risk management, business development, and health and safety stewardship. Having successfully led business operations with over 700 staff and over $150 million in sales and revenue, he has achieved tremendous success delivering growth and profitability through portfolio diversification, enterprise-level marketing and sales campaigns, and reduction of project overruns and claims through effective risk management and quality assurance measures. Maintaining a results and people driven leadership style, Rodriguez underscores the importance of cultivating and retaining staff, coaching and developing new leaders, and emphasizing a high quality, safety-first work culture.

“I have known and admired Kleinfelder’s strong work and market position for many years,” said Rodriguez. “Under the current leadership team and capital structure, we are positioned to provide broader services to our clients, greater career opportunities for our staff, and achieve strong, profitable growth in the months and years ahead. I am proud and excited to be joining this team.”

About Kleinfelder

Founded in 1961, Kleinfelder is an engineering, construction management, design and environmental professional services firm. Kleinfelder operates over 60 office locations in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Contacts

Dustin Esposito

Marketing and Communications Manager

DEsposito@Kleinfelder.com

(617) 498‐4627

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Business Wire

Deadline Reminder: The Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Reminds Investors of Looming Deadline in the Class Action Lawsuit Against International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.

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BENSALEM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$IFF–Law Offices of Howard G. Smith reminds investors of the upcoming October 11, 2019 deadline to file a lead plaintiff motion in the class action filed on behalf of investors who purchased International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (“IFF” or the “Company”) (NYSE: IFF) securities between May 7, 2018 and August 5, 2019, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

Investors suffering losses on their IFF investments are encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Howard G. Smith to discuss their legal rights in this class action at 888-638-4847 or by email to howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com.

On August 5, 2019, after the market closed, the Company disclosed that Frutarom had “made improper payments to representatives of a number of customers” in Russia and Ukraine and that “key members of Frutarom’s senior management at the time were aware of such payments.” The Company also reduced its 2019 financial guidance for sales to a range of $5.15 billion to $5.25 billion, from a range of $5.2 billion to $5.3 billion, and for adjusted earnings per share to a range of $4.85 to $5.05, from $4.90 to $5.10.

On this news, the Company’s share price fell $22.56 per share, or nearly 16%, to close at $118.91 per share on August 6, 2019, on unusually heavy trading volume.

The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that Frutarom had bribed customers in Russia and Ukraine; (2) that senior management at Frutarom were aware of such improper payments; (3) that, as a result, Frutarom’s financial results were materially overstated; (4) that, as a result of the improper payments, the Company was reasonably likely to face regulatory scrutiny; (5) that the Company had not completed adequate due diligence before acquiring Frutarom; (6) that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company was unlikely to achieve purported synergies from the acquisition; and (7) that, as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

If you purchased IFF securities during the Class Period you may move the Court no later than October 11, 2019 to ask the Court to appoint you as lead plaintiff if you meet certain legal requirements. To be a member of the class action you need not take any action at this time; you may retain counsel of your choice or take no action and remain an absent member of the class action. If you wish to learn more about this class action, or if you have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith, Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at (215) 638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com, or visit our website at www.howardsmithlaw.com.

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.

Contacts

Law Offices of Howard G. Smith

Howard G. Smith, Esquire

215-638-4847

888-638-4847

howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com

www.howardsmithlaw.com

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