RLI Corp .'s RLI first-quarter 2017 operating earnings of 44 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.3%. Also, the bottom line fell 18.5% from the prior-year quarter.
Including realized gain of 1 cent, net income plummeted 36.6% year over year to 45 cents. Operational Performance
Operating revenues for the quarter totaled $196.3 million, up 3.2% year over year. However, revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $198 million by 0.9%.
Gross premiums written dipped 0.7% year over year to $194.9 million due to weak performance by the Property segment. However, the downside was partially limited by strong performance by the Casualty and Surety segments.
Total expense increased 9.7% year over year to $175.4 million due to higher loss and settlement expenses, policy acquisition costs, insurance operating expenses and general corporate expenses.
Underwriting income of this Property and Casualty (P&C) insurer plunged 38.5% year over year to $13.1 million. Underwriting income deteriorated due to weakness at the Casualty segment. Combined ratio deteriorated 490 basis points year over year to 92.9%.
RLI Corp.'s net investment income declined 2.7% year over year to $13.0 million. Total return on the investment portfolio was 1.8%, while bond portfolio retuned 2.3%. Equity portfolio returned 4.1%. Financial Update
RLI Corp. exited the first quarter with total investments and cash of $2.06 billion, up 2.1% from year-end 2016.
Book value was $19.28 per share as of Mar 31, 2017, up 2.9% from the level as of Dec 31, 2016.
Long-term debt remained flat with the 2016-end level of $148.8 million.
Statutory surplus improved 4.3% year over year to $897.3 million. Dividend Payout
On Mar 20, 2017, RLI Corp. paid quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share. The insurer has paid more than $630 million to investors over the last five years.
RLI Corp. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
RLI Corp. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | RLI Corp. Quote
Currently, RLI Corp. has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
Performance of Other Insurers
Among the other players from the insurance industry that have reported their first-quarter earnings so far, the bottom line at Brown & Brown, Inc. BRO and Torchmark Corporation TMK beat their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate, while The Progressive Corporation PGR lagged expectations.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO): Free Stock Analysis Report Torchmark Corporation (TMK): Free Stock Analysis Report RLI Corp. (RLI): Free Stock Analysis Report Progressive Corporation (The) (PGR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research