Ambac Financial Group Inc. failed to provide fourth-quarter earnings or its year-end 10-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. It attributed the delay to ongoing discussions with financial institution counterparties regarding the obligations of the company and its subsidiaries.
"The Company anticipates that the outcome of these discussions could have a material impact on the disclosure and financial statements included in its Form 10-K," Ambac said in a filing to the regulator.
Ambac also wrote that it has been "adversely impacted by significant losses from residential mortgage backed exposures," which contributed to the company's 2008 net loss of $5.6 billion. In the first nine months of 2009 the company's net loss was $573 million.
Ambac — the parent of troubled bond insurer Ambac Assurance Corp. — said its 2009 results will fare "significantly better" than the prior year due to "changes in the fair value of credit derivatives." That will be offset, however, by continued losses, impairments in its investment portfolio, lower net premiums, and lower financial services revenues.
Prior to the financial crisis, Ambac Assurance was the second-largest municipal bond insurer in the market. Two weeks ago it reported a year-end surplus to policyholders of $802 million, down from $856 million in the third quarter and well below the $1.55 billion reported at the end of 2008.
The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, Ambac Assurance's regulator, said it "continues to work closely with all interested parties and remains focused on implementing a durable solution for all policyholders."
To those watching Ambac closely, the news was reminiscent of last November when the parent company delayed the release of its statutory capital figures, citing similar circumstances.
Stock in the parent company fell $0.013, or 1.69% Tuesday to close at $0.762.