S&P AFFIRMS RATING FOR NATIONAL WESTERN

S&P AFFIRMS RATING FOR NATIONAL WESTERN

Standard & Poor's has affirmed its "A+" claims-paying ability rating on National Western Life Insurance Co.

The rating, third highest, reflects the company's superior capitalization, strong earnings, excellent liquidity and above-average investment quality, S&P said. These strengths are partly offset by the lack of a currently proven strategic direction and an overall business profile, which is considered adequate.While the company has a favorable niche market position in the Latin American market, revenues from this market have been essentially flat, the rating firm said.

On the domestic side, National Western has changed its sales focus over the past five years, and the company's business profile, while adequate, has not improved.