Going by its strategy to enhance shareholder return, property
and casualty insurer
) has announced the payment of a special dividend of $5.00 per
share coupled with a regular quarterly dividend of 32 cents per
share. In aggregate, the company will be returning $1.05 million
of cash to its shareholders. The dividends will be paid on
December 20, 2012, to shareholders of record as of November 30,
RLI's sound capital structure and strong operating cash flow
enable it to make dividend payments. During 2011, RLI paid
a special dividend of $5.00, lower than $7.00 paid in 2010. Its
regular dividend payments were $1.19 per share, up 1.5% from
$1.15 per share in 2010.
The company has been consistently increasing dividends over the
past 37 years. The company has paid dividends for the past 144
consecutive quarters and has hiked its quarterly dividend by an
average of 1.4% over the last 10 years. Over the last five years,
the company has returned more than $570 million to shareholders
in the form of share buybacks and dividends, both regular and
Over the past 10 years, RLI's total return to shareholders has
been significantly better than that of the S&P 500. The
company has generated returns of 16.5% compared with 2.9% for
S&P 500 over the 10-year period.
Despite a strong bottom line performance the company's
profitability gets marred by cat losses. In a separate
development, the company announced that hurricane Sandy is
expected to cause a pre-tax loss of approximately $15-$20
million, after deducting reinsurance reimbursements. These are,
however, preliminary estimates and the actual loss may turn out
to be more than the current projections. In 2011, the
company incurred cat losses of $17.5 million.
As per available estimates, Hurricane Sandy is expected to cause
damages worth $20-25 billion. The super storm is expected to
impact insurance/reinsurance companies in varying degrees. We
expect RLI peers like
The Travelers Companies, Inc.
The Chubb Corp.
) to announce their respective cat loss estimates soon.
RLI currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a
short-term Hold rating. Considering the fundamentals, we are also
maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the
CHUBB CORP (CB): Free Stock Analysis Report
RLI CORP (RLI): Free Stock Analysis Report
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