Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of RLI (NYSE:RLI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Monday morning. The brokerage 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.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $51.00 price objective on RLI and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. B. Riley reissued a neutral rating on shares of RLI in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued an underperform rating and issued a $51.00 price objective (up from $50.00) on shares of RLI in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. RLI presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $57.67.

Shares of RLI (NYSE RLI) traded up $0.48 during trading on Monday, hitting $59.50. The stock had a trading volume of 148,024 shares, compared to its average volume of 160,828. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,610.00, a P/E ratio of 33.06 and a beta of 1.30. RLI has a 12-month low of $50.34 and a 12-month high of $62.00. The company has a current ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17.

RLI (NYSE:RLI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The insurance provider reported $0.04 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.48 by ($0.44). The company had revenue of $196.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $195.89 million. RLI had a return on equity of 8.53% and a net margin of 9.97%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.37 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that RLI will post 1.56 EPS 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 given a dividend of $1.75 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 1.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 29th. RLI’s payout ratio is 46.67%.

In related news, Director Michael J. Stone sold 1,141 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 4th. The stock was 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 through this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael J. Stone sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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. Insiders have sold 5,141 shares of company stock valued at $307,795 over the last ninety days. 6.09% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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

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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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