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RDN > SEC Filings for RDN > Form 10-K on 28-Feb-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for RADIAN GROUP INC



Annual Report

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The following analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included in Item 8 and the Risk Factors detailed in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We are a credit enhancement company with a primary strategic focus on domestic residential mortgage insurance on first-lien mortgage loans ("first-liens"). We have two business segments-mortgage insurance and financial guaranty. Our mortgage insurance segment provides credit-related insurance coverage, principally through private mortgage insurance and risk management services, to mortgage lending institutions. See "Item 1. Business-Mortgage Insurance." We conduct our mortgage insurance business primarily through Radian Guaranty, our principal mortgage insurance subsidiary. Our financial guaranty segment has provided direct insurance and reinsurance on credit-based risks, and also offered credit protection on various asset classes through financial guaranty policies and credit default swaps ("CDS"). While we discontinued writing new financial guaranty business in 2008, we continue to provide financial guaranty insurance on our existing portfolio consisting primarily of public finance and structured finance insured transactions. In addition, our principal financial guaranty subsidiary, Radian Asset Assurance Inc. ("Radian Asset Assurance"), is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Radian Guaranty Inc. ("Radian Guaranty"), which allows our financial guaranty business to serve as an important source of capital support for our mortgage insurance business. See "Item 1. Business-Financial Guaranty." A summary of financial information for our business segments for each of the last three fiscal years is included in Note 3 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. Radian Group Inc. ("Radian Group") serves as the holding company for our insurance subsidiaries and does not have any significant operations of its own.
Operating Environment. As a seller of credit protection, our results are subject to macroeconomic conditions and specific events that impact the origination environment and the credit performance of our underlying insured assets. The financial crisis and the downturn in the housing and related credit markets that began in 2007 had a significant negative impact on the operating environment and results of operations for both of our business segments. This was characterized by a decrease in mortgage originations, a broad decline in home prices, mortgage servicing and foreclosure delays, and ongoing deterioration in the credit performance of mortgage and other assets originated prior to 2009, together with macroeconomic factors such as high unemployment, limited employment growth, limited economic growth and a lack of meaningful liquidity in many sectors of the capital markets. More recently, we have experienced a period of economic recovery and the operating environment for our businesses has improved. Our results of operations have continued to improve as the negative impact from losses on the mortgage insurance we wrote during the poor underwriting years of 2005 through 2008 (we refer to this portion of our mortgage insurance portfolio, together with business written prior to 2005, as our "legacy portfolio") has been reduced and we continue to write a high volume of insurance on higher credit quality loans. As of December 31, 2013, our legacy portfolio had been reduced to approximately 40% of our total primary risk in force ("RIF"), while insurance on loans written after 2008 constituted approximately 60% of our primary RIF.
Although the United States ("U.S.") economy and certain housing markets remain weak compared to historical standards, home prices have been appreciating on a broad basis throughout the U.S., foreclosure activity has declined and the credit quality of recent mortgage market originations continues to be significantly better than the credit quality of our legacy portfolio. In addition, there are signs of a broader recovery in the U.S. economy, including importantly, a reduction in unemployment rates. As a consequence of these and other factors, in 2013 we have experienced improvement in our results of operations, driven primarily by a significant reduction in our incurred losses as result of a 20% decline in new primary mortgage insurance defaults compared to 2012. In addition, the growth of our mortgage insurance portfolio resulted in an increase in premiums earned.
Currently, our business strategy is primarily focused on: (1) growing our mortgage insurance business by writing insurance on high-quality mortgages in the U.S. and exploring other potential alternatives for providing credit-based services to the mortgage finance market; (2) continuing to manage losses in our legacy mortgage insurance and financial guaranty portfolios; (3) continuing to reduce our legacy mortgage insurance and financial guaranty exposures; and (4) continuing to effectively manage our capital and liquidity positions.

Key Factors Affecting Our Results
Mortgage Insurance
Premiums. The premium rates we charge for our insurance are based on a number of borrower, loan and property characteristics. Premiums on our mortgage insurance products are paid either on a monthly installment basis ("monthly premium"), in a single payment at origination ("single premium"), as a combination of up-front premium at origination plus a monthly renewal, or in some cases, as an annual or multi-year premium.

New insurance written ("NIW") increases our insurance in force ("IIF") and premiums written and earned. An increase or decrease in IIF will generally have a corresponding impact on premiums earned. Cancellations of our insurance policies and other reductions of IIF, such as rescissions of coverage and claims paid, generally have a negative effect on premiums earned. The measure for assessing the impact of policy cancellations on our IIF is our persistency rate, defined as the percentage of IIF that remains on our books after any 12-month period. Insurance premiums on our monthly premium insurance policies are paid and earned over time; therefore, higher persistency rates on monthly premium insurance policies enable us to earn more premiums and recover more of our policy acquisition costs, and generally result in increased profitability. When single premium policies are cancelled by the insured because the loan has been paid off or otherwise, we accelerate the recognition of any remaining unearned premiums. Therefore, assuming all other factors remain constant, profitability increases on our single premium business when persistency rates are lower. Rescissions, which are discussed in further detail below, result in a full refund of the inception-to-date premiums received, and therefore, premiums earned are affected by any changes in our accrual for estimated rescission refunds. Additionally, premiums ceded to third-party reinsurance counterparties decrease premiums written and earned.
NIW. NIW is affected by the overall size of the mortgage origination market, the penetration percentage of private mortgage insurance into the overall mortgage origination market and our market share of the private mortgage insurance market. The overall mortgage origination market is influenced by macroeconomic factors such as household formation, home affordability, interest rates, housing markets in general, credit availability and the impact of various legislative and regulatory actions that may influence the mortgage finance industry. The percentage of private mortgage insurance is mainly influenced by the competitiveness of private mortgage insurance on Government-Sponsored Enterprise ("GSE") conforming loans compared to Federal Housing Administration ("FHA") insurance and the relative percentage of mortgage originations that are for purchased homes versus refinances. Typically, private mortgage insurance penetration is significantly higher on new mortgages for purchased homes than on the refinance of existing mortgages because average loan-to-value ("LTV") ratios are higher on home purchases. Radian Guaranty's share of the private mortgage insurance market is influenced by competition in that market and our ability to maintain or grow existing levels of new mortgage originations from our current customers, expand our customer base and gain new customers. We compete with other private mortgage insurers on the basis of price, terms and conditions, customer relationships, reputation, financial strength measures and overall service. Service-based competition includes effective and timely delivery of products, risk management services, timeliness of claims payments, training, loss mitigation efforts and management and field service expertise.

Losses. Incurred losses represent the estimated future claim payments on newly defaulted insured loans as well as any change in our claim estimates for previous defaults. Our mortgage insurance incurred losses are driven primarily by new defaults and changes in the estimates we use to determine our losses, including estimates with respect to the likelihood, magnitude and timing of anticipated losses, and our estimate of the rate at which we expect defaults will ultimately result in paid claims. Other factors influencing incurred losses include:

The product mix of our total direct RIF (loans with higher risk characteristics generally result in more delinquencies and claims);

The average loan size (higher average loan amounts generally result in higher incurred losses);

- The percentage of coverage on insured loans (higher percentages of insurance coverage generally result in higher incurred losses) and the presence of structural mitigants such as deductibles or stop losses;

- Changes in housing values (declines in housing values negatively impact our ability to mitigate our losses by either paying the full claim amount and acquiring the property or facilitating a sale of the property and also may negatively affect a borrower's willingness to continue to make mortgage payments when the home value is less than the mortgage balance);

- The distribution of claims over the life cycle of a portfolio (historically, claims are relatively low during the first two years after a loan is originated and then increase substantially over a period of several years before declining; however, as happened with much of our legacy portfolio, several factors can impact and change this cycle, including the economic environment, the characteristics of the mortgage loan, the credit profile of the borrower, housing prices and unemployment rates); and

- Our ability to mitigate potential losses through rescissions, denials, cancellations and the curtailment of claims submitted to us. We have taken these actions much more frequently with our legacy portfolio loans. Generally, we rescind insurance coverage when we conclude, through our review of the underwriting of a loan, that the loan was not originated in accordance with our underwriting guidelines. Generally, we deny claims when the documentation we receive is not sufficient to perfect the claim in accordance with our master insurance policy. In addition, we may cancel coverage or curtail claim payments when we identify servicer negligence, or we may make other adjustments to claims as permitted by our master insurance policy. These actions all reduce our incurred losses. Conversely, if our loss mitigation activities are successfully challenged at rates that are higher than expected, our incurred losses will increase.

Other Operating Expenses. Our other operating expenses are affected by both the level of NIW, as well as the level of RIF. Additionally, in recent periods, our operating expenses have been impacted significantly by compensation expense associated with changes in the estimated fair value of certain of our long-term incentive awards that are settled in cash. The fair value of these awards is dependent, in large part, on our stock price at any given point in time.

Investment Income. Investment income is determined primarily by the investment balances held and the average yield on our overall investment portfolio.

Freddie Mac Transaction. In August 2013, Radian Guaranty entered into a Master Transaction Agreement with Freddie Mac (the "Freddie Mac Agreement") related to a group of 25,760 first-liens guaranteed by Freddie Mac that were insured by Radian Guaranty and were in default as of December 31, 2011. This transaction significantly impacted our financial position in 2013 by reducing our primary delinquent loan inventory and capping Radian Guaranty's total exposure on the entire population of loans subject to the agreement to $840 million, leaving Radian Guaranty with no additional exposure to claims on these loans. The Freddie Mac Agreement provides for the future treatment of the loans subject to the terms of the agreement including claim payments, loss mitigation activity and insurance coverage, and eliminated Radian Guaranty's claim exposure on 9,756 loans that were delinquent and 4,586 loans that were re-performing as of July 31, 2013. The remaining loans in the original population of 25,760 loans had been paid off, had resulted in a rescission or claim denial or had become a paid claim prior to July 31, 2013. The maximum exposure of $840 million is comprised of $625 million of claim payments (consisting of $370 million of claims previously paid on this population of loans prior to July 12, 2013, which is the measurement date for purposes of the transaction, and an additional $255 million paid at closing) and $215 million related to rescissions, denials, claim curtailments and cancellations ("Loss Mitigation Activity") on these loans. At the closing, Radian Guaranty deposited $205 million into a collateral account to cover future Loss Mitigation Activity on these loans. The amount deposited in the collateral account represents $215 million, less $10 million of Loss Mitigation Activity that had become final in accordance with the Freddie Mac Agreement prior to the date the collateral account was established. The collateral account consists of investment securities and remains on our consolidated balance sheets as a result of the rights that Radian Guaranty has with respect to the funds. Subject to certain conditions in the Freddie Mac Agreement, amounts in the collateral account may be released to Radian Guaranty over time to the extent that Loss Mitigation Activity becomes final in accordance with the terms of the Freddie Mac Agreement. From the time the collateral account was established through December 31, 2013, approximately $6.0 million of additional Loss Mitigation Activity had become final in accordance with the Freddie Mac Agreement and $142.9 million of submitted claims had been rescinded, denied, curtailed or cancelled, but were not considered final in accordance with the Freddie Mac Agreement. If the amount of Loss Mitigation Activity that becomes final in accordance with the Freddie Mac Agreement after the collateral account was established does not accumulate to $205 million prior to termination of the Freddie Mac Agreement, then any remaining funds will be paid to Freddie Mac. Radian Guaranty will continue to administer all claims submitted with respect to these loans in accordance with the applicable insurance policy for these loans and in a manner consistent with its normal claims handling practices. The Freddie Mac Agreement will terminate upon the earliest to occur of: (1) August 29, 2017; (2) any time after August 29, 2015 if the amounts remaining in the collateral account are reduced to $0; or (3) any time after August 29, 2015 if Radian Guaranty exercises its early termination option to conclude the transactions under the Freddie Mac Agreement, by paying to Freddie Mac an amount equal to the initial collateral amount less the amount of Loss Mitigation Activity that had then become final under the terms of the agreement.

Third-Party Reinsurance. We use third-party reinsurance in our mortgage insurance business to manage capital and risk. When we enter into a reinsurance agreement, the reinsurer receives a premium and, in exchange, agrees to insure an agreed upon portion of incurred losses. This arrangement has the impact of reducing our earned premiums but also reduces our net RIF, which provides capital relief to the insurance subsidiary ceding the RIF and reduces our incurred losses by any incurred losses ceded in accordance with the reinsurance agreement. In addition, we often receive ceding commissions from the reinsurer as part of the transaction, which contributes to reducing our overall expenses. In the past, we also had entered into capital markets-based reinsurance transactions designed to transfer all or a portion of the risk associated with certain higher risk mortgage insurance products. See Note 8 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for more information about our reinsurance arrangements.

Financial Guaranty
Premiums. We earn premiums on our financial guaranty insurance policies and on other forms of credit protection we provide. In our financial guaranty business, premiums on public finance exposures are generally paid as single up-front premiums and are earned over the life of the contract. Premiums on our structured finance contracts are generally paid on a periodic basis (monthly or quarterly installment premiums) and are earned on a monthly basis. In addition, we recognize the remaining unearned premium revenue when securities that we insure are redeemed or otherwise retired (we refer to this activity as "refundings"), which generally results in the termination of the financial guaranty policies insuring such securities. Furthermore, our earned premiums are reduced by premiums ceded through reinsurance agreements. Since we have discontinued writing new financial guaranty insurance, our premiums earned have been reduced commensurate with the decrease in our net par outstanding. See Note 2 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information regarding the revenue recognition of premiums.

Net Par Outstanding. Our net par outstanding represents principal risk exposure on insured contracts. As noted above, our net par outstanding has been declining since we discontinued writing new financial guaranty business. The decline in our net par outstanding is driven by scheduled maturities and permitted early terminations within our financial guaranty portfolio and negotiated commutations and other transactions that we have entered into to reduce our net par outstanding.

Factors outside of our control also may affect our net par outstanding. Low interest rates may cause the issuers of our public finance obligations to refinance the obligations that we insure, thereby reducing our net par outstanding. In addition, a majority of our financial guaranty net par outstanding is subject to termination at any time by our CDS counterparties or by our non-affiliated primary insurance customers that have ceded exposure to us. Various market factors, including declining default rates on the obligations that we have insured and the market's perception of the likelihood of our own default on our obligations, may make it economically attractive for our counterparties to exercise their early termination rights and cancel our insurance coverage, whereas rising interest rates and a market perception of a decreasing likelihood that we will default on our own obligations, may make it less attractive for our counterparties to exercise such early termination rights.
- In January 2013, Radian Asset Assurance commuted the remaining $822.2 million net par that had been reinsured by Radian Asset Assurance from Financial Guaranty Insurance Company ("FGIC"), including approximately $195.9 million of our $225.3 million in net par outstanding as of December 31, 2012 related to Jefferson County, Alabama sewer warrants, a large distressed public finance credit. This commutation also included all of our exposure to general obligation bonds issued by the City of Detroit, except for $7.9 million, as of December 31, 2013. Radian Asset Assurance paid FGIC $52.4 million as part of this transaction (the "FGIC Commutation"), which payment approximated our existing loss reserves and unearned premium reserves on the commuted transactions.

- During 2013, we agreed with a counterparty in our financial guaranty business to commute a $105 million corporate collateralized debt obligation ("CDO") transaction (the "2013 CDO Commutation"), and four other financial guaranty CDS counterparties exercised their termination rights on a walkaway basis (meaning that our counterparty was not obligated to pay any unaccrued premium or other amount to terminate the transaction) with respect to ten corporate CDOs and a second-to-pay CDO of corporate loans that we insured (collectively, with the 2013 CDO Commutation, the "CDO Early Terminations"). These CDO Early Terminations reduced our financial guaranty net par outstanding by $3.9 billion in the aggregate. There was no material impact on our financial statements as a result of these terminations. In January 2014, a counterparty to a $450 million AAA-rated CDO of commercial mortgage-backed security ("CMBS") exercised its right to terminate the transaction on a walkaway basis.

Changes in Fair Value of Obligations. Many of our structured finance and some of our public finance contracts are accounted for as derivatives or variable interest entities ("VIEs"), which are carried at fair market value. Therefore, our results are impacted by changes in the fair value of these contracts. The estimated fair value of these obligations and instruments is measured as of a specific point in time and may be influenced by changes in interest rates, credit spreads (of both the underlying collateral as well as the credit spread for Radian Group), credit ratings, changes in regulations affecting the holders of such obligations or the value of obligations underlying our insured portfolio and other market, asset-class and transaction-specific conditions and factors that may be unrelated or only indirectly related to our obligation to pay future claims.

Radian Group's credit spread reflects the perceived risk of default that investors associate with us, which we are required to consider when determining the fair market values of our obligations. A higher credit spread is indicative of a higher perception of risk. If all else remains constant, when our credit spread increases, or widens, the fair value liability of our insured obligations declines, and when our credit spread decreases, or tightens, the fair value liability of our insured obligations increases.
Because we generally do not settle our insurance contracts before maturity (other than in a negotiated termination), in the absence of actual credit losses on which we are obligated to make claim payments, we expect unrealized gains or losses related to changes in fair value to reverse before or at the maturity of these obligations. If we agree to settle obligations prior to maturity at amounts that are greater or less than their fair values at the time of settlement, it could result in the realization of additional gains or losses.
Losses/Credit Performance. Our financial guaranty incurred losses are driven primarily by economic conditions that affect the ability of the issuers of our insured obligations to meet such financial obligations and by changes in the assumptions used to determine our losses, including assumptions with respect to the likelihood, magnitude and timing of anticipated losses. Stronger economic conditions increase the likelihood that obligors will have the ability to pay interest and principal on the bonds we insure. Weaker economic conditions often place strains on the revenue flows available to pay interest and principal on our insured obligations. Other significant factors influencing defaults and incurred losses include:

- Real estate values, which can affect the ability of municipalities and other governmental entities to generate sufficient tax revenues to satisfy their financial obligations;

- The potential impact of federal, state and local budgetary constraints affecting funding and payments (including Medicare and Medicaid payments) to healthcare, long-term care, educational and other governmental and non-governmental entities whose obligations we insure;

- The potential impact of threatened or actual government shutdowns or defaults on the payment of government-issued debt securities or other financial obligations;

- Potential changes to entitlement programs, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, that could affect the ability of certain entities whose obligations we insure to receive adequate reimbursement for the services they provide and for individuals and entities to utilize the services provided by these entities;

- Performance of commercial and residential mortgage loans and other types of indebtedness that we insure;

- The movement of interest rates (increases in interest rates will increase the interest component of the variable rate obligations we insure, and as a result, will increase the strain on the obligors to make payments on these obligations); and

- The performance of the primary insurers from whom we have either ceded reinsurance or who have the primary obligation to pay claims on our second-to-pay obligations; if such primary insurers have financial difficulties, they may be unable or unwilling to devote sufficient resources to loss mitigation efforts or could fail to pay claims on transactions where we have second-to-pay obligations.

While all of these factors could affect losses on the underlying transactions we insure, the structure of a transaction, including the level of subordination in such transaction available to absorb losses before we would incur losses, further impacts our ultimate loss on a particular transaction.

Results of Operations-Consolidated
Radian Group serves as the holding company for our insurance subsidiaries and does not have any significant operations of its own. Because of this, our consolidated results reflect, and are fully explained by, the financial results and performance of our two business segments-mortgage insurance and financial guaranty.
We allocate corporate income and expenses to our mortgage insurance and financial guaranty segments based on either an allocated percentage of time spent on each segment or internally allocated capital, which is based on relative equity under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP") for each segment. We allocate corporate cash and investments to our segments based on internally allocated capital. The results for each segment for each reporting period can cause significant volatility in internally allocated capital based on relative GAAP equity, which can impact the allocations of income and expenses to our segments.
In 2013, management determined that the allocation of our consolidated provision for income taxes to the segments was no longer meaningful to the evaluation of our business results. Therefore, financial information for our business segments is disclosed on a pretax basis because senior management uses pretax results for the allocation of resources and in assessing the performance of the segments. See "-Results of Operations-Mortgage Insurance" and "-Results of Operations-Financial Guaranty."
The following table highlights selected information related to our consolidated results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011:

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