RLI (RLI) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of RLI (NYSE:RLI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning. They currently have $67.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “RLI Corp. boasts one of the industry’s most profitable P&C writers with an impressive track record of underwriting profits in 37 of the past 41 years (particularly the last 21 years). Its ability to consistently increase dividend, announce special dividends, maintain combined ratios at favorable levels as well as a solid capital position are other positives. Continuous strategic investments to fortify Casualty segment bode well. The company also remains focused on strengthening its underwriting results and has decided to drop underperforming products in the property business. The company witnessed its Zacks Consensus Estimate  for 2018 move north by 9% over the last 60 days. However, exposure to catastrophe loss and escalating expenses raise concerns. Shares of RLI Corp have underperformed the industry in a year.”

RLI has been the topic of several other reports. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $51.00 target price on RLI and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. B. Riley restated a neutral rating on shares of RLI in a report on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated an underperform rating and issued a $51.00 price target (up from $50.00) on shares of RLI in a report on Friday, October 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $57.67.

RLI (NYSE:RLI) traded up $0.13 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $59.63. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 78,586 shares, compared to its average volume of 151,678. The company has a current ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17. The company has a market capitalization of $2,630.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.13 and a beta of 1.30. RLI has a 52-week low of $50.34 and a 52-week high of $62.00.

RLI (NYSE:RLI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The insurance provider reported $0.04 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by ($0.44). The business had revenue of $196.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $195.89 million. RLI had a return on equity of 8.53% and a net margin of 9.97%. The business’s revenue was down 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.37 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that RLI will post 1.56 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a special dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 27th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 30th were issued a $1.75 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 29th. This represents a dividend yield of 1.42%. RLI’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 46.67%.

In other news, Director Michael J. Stone sold 1,141 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.40, for a total value of $67,775.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael J. Stone sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.33, for a total value of $120,660.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 5,141 shares of company stock worth $307,795. Corporate insiders own 6.09% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of RLI. State Street Corp raised its holdings in RLI by 2.4% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,297,222 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $343,954,000 after acquiring an additional 145,202 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in RLI by 1.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,208,225 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $229,853,000 after acquiring an additional 45,127 shares in the last quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in RLI by 3.2% during the third quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 1,712,682 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $98,240,000 after acquiring an additional 53,112 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in RLI by 3.2% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,073,775 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $61,593,000 after acquiring an additional 33,357 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in RLI by 2.5% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 967,295 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $52,833,000 after acquiring an additional 23,902 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.58% of the company’s stock.

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RLI Company Profile

RLI Corp. is a specialty insurance company. The Company underwrites selected property and casualty insurance through subsidiaries, as well as offers insurance coverages in both the specialty admitted, and excess and surplus markets. It operates through Casualty, Property and Surety segments. Its Casualty segment consists of commercial and personal umbrella, general liability, commercial transportation, professional services, small commercial, executive products, medical professional liability and other casualty businesses.

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