Pro Assurance is a leader in developing solutions which serve the liability needs of the evolving needs of the health care industry. ProAssurance is the nation's fourth largest writer of medical professional liability insurance and one of the 100 largest writers of personal auto coverage. ProAssurance Corp. has a market cap of $1.52 billion; its shares were traded at around $45.54 with a P/E ratio of 7.6 and P/S ratio of 2.7. ProAssurance Corp. had an annual average earning growth of 13.1% over the past 10 years.
Highlight of Business Operations:We also have other investments, primarily comprised of equity interests in private investment funds (non-public investment partnerships and limited liability companies), $45.2 million of which are accounted for using the equity method and $31.0 million of which are carried at cost. We evaluate these investments for OTTI by considering any declines in fair value below the recorded value. Determining whether there has been a decline in fair value involves assumptions and estimates as there are typically no observable inputs to determine the fair value of these investments.
ProAssurance Corporation is a holding company and is a legal entity separate and distinct from its subsidiaries. Because it has no other business operations, dividends from its operating subsidiaries represent a significant source of funds for its obligations, including debt service. The ability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends is subject to limitation by state insurance regulations. See our discussions under Regulation of Dividends and Other Payments from Our Operating Subsidiaries in Part I of our 2008 Form 10K, and in Note 16 of our Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included therein, for additional information regarding the ordinary dividends that can be paid by our insurance subsidiaries in 2009. At March 31, 2009 we held cash and investments of approximately $197 million outside of our insurance subsidiaries that are available for use without regulatory approval. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, we used $120 million of our available cash in the ProAssurance-sponsored demutualization of PICA Group (PICA) that closed April 1, 2009. We also made surplus contributions totaling $30 million to PICA in April 2009, $15 million of which was made pursuant to the purchase agreement to offset the impact to PICA of premium credits that will go to eligible policyholders for three years beginning in 2010. The remaining $15 million is to support PICAs ongoing operations.
The principal components of our operating cash flows are the excess of net investment income and premiums collected over net losses paid and operating costs, including income taxes. Timing delays exist between the collection of premiums and the ultimate payment of losses. Premiums are generally collected within the twelve-month period after the policy is written while our claim payments are generally paid over a more extended period of time. Likewise, timing delays exist between the payment of claims and the collection of any associated reinsurance recoveries. Our operating activities provided positive cash flows of approximately $8.0 million and $61.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.
Losses paid in 2009 have not, as a whole, exceeded amounts reserved for those losses as of December 31, 2008, nor has the payment of losses accelerated in an unexpected manner. In the contractual obligations table included in Part II of our December 31, 2008 Form 10K we projected, largely based on historical payment patterns, that we would pay gross losses of $520 million during 2009 related to the reserves that were established at December 31, 2008. Through March 31, 2009, our gross loss payments total approximately $89 million, which, when annualized, is slightly lower than the amount estimated for purposes of the table.
Read the The complete ReportPRA is in the portfolios of Arnold Schneider of Schneider Capital Management.