RLI (RLI) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of RLI (NYSE:RLI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday. The firm currently has $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 subject of a number of other research reports. B. Riley reiterated a neutral rating on shares of RLI in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a hold rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of RLI in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an underperform rating and set a $51.00 price target (up previously from $50.00) on shares of RLI in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Two equities research 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’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $57.67.

Shares of RLI (RLI) traded down $0.37 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $59.16. 108,669 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 178,849. The firm has a market cap of $2,610.00, a PE ratio of 32.87 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a current ratio of 0.35. RLI has a 12-month low of $50.34 and a 12-month high of $62.00.

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

The firm also recently declared a special dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 30th were paid a dividend of $1.75 per share. This represents a yield of 1.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 29th. RLI’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.67%.

In other RLI news, Director Michael J. Stone sold 1,141 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.40, for a total transaction of $67,775.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael J. Stone sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.33, for a total transaction of $120,660.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 5,141 shares of company stock valued at $307,795. 6.09% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its position in RLI by 60.3% during the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 2,000 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 752 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in RLI by 64.0% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,296 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 896 shares during the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation purchased a new position in RLI during the 3rd quarter worth $145,000. Shelton Capital Management purchased a new position in RLI during the 2nd quarter worth $208,000. Finally, Virtu KCG Holdings LLC purchased a new position in RLI during the 2nd quarter worth $250,000. 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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