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Mercury General Reports Q3 Investment Gains

Reported a net investment income of $35.2m for Q3

Mercury General Corporation has reported a net income in the third quarter 2009 of $157.7m ($2.85 per share-diluted) compared with net loss of $140.5m ($2.57 per share-diluted) for the same period in 2008.

For the first nine months of 2009, the net income was $368.8m ($6.70 per share-diluted) compared with net loss of $73.8m ($1.35 per share-diluted) for the same period in 2008.

The operating income was $46.3m ($0.84 per share-diluted) for the third quarter of 2009, a 17.3% increase over the same period in 2008, and $139.7m ($2.54 per share-diluted) for the first nine months of 2009, a 1.9% decrease over the same period in 2008.

The net premiums written were $662.8m in the third quarter of 2009, a 4.7% decrease over the third quarter 2008 net premiums written of $695.1m, and were approximately $2.0b for the first nine months of 2009, a 6.5% decrease over the same period in 2008.

The rate of premium decline has slowed over the last few quarters. The premium decrease was 8.0% and 6.8% in the first and second quarter 2009, respectively, over comparable quarters in 2008.

The net investment income of $35.2m (after tax, $32.0m) in the third quarter of 2009 decreased by 7.6% over the same period in 2008. The net investment income for the first nine months of 2009 was $109.3m (after tax, $98.0m), a decrease of 6.1% over the same period in 2008.