On Dec 26, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
AMTRUST FIN SVC (AFSI): Free Stock Analysis
ALLIED WORLD AS (AWH): Free Stock Analysis
RLI CORP (RLI): Free Stock Analysis Report
ALLEGHANY CORP (Y): Free Stock Analysis
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Why the Upgrade?
RLI Corp. has witnessed rising earnings estimates on the back of
solid earnings results. The company also announced a special
dividend of $3.00 per share. Moreover, the property and casualty
insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4
quarters with an average beat of 38.9%. The long-term expected
earnings growth rate for this stock is 15%
In the last reported quarter, RLI Corp.'s non-GAAP earnings came
in at $1.40 per share, surpassing both the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of 95 cents by 47% as well as the year-ago level of
$1.02 by 37.2%.
The year-over-year improvement came on the back of better
underwriting results in the Property and Casualty segments.
Underwriting income for RLI Corp. improved 72% year over year,
with combined ratio improving by 720 basis points. The
improvement was primarily attributable to better underwriting
performance in the Property and Casualty segments.
In keeping with its consistent efforts to share more profit with
the shareholders, the board of directors of RLI Corp. approved a
special dividend of $3.00 per share in mid November. RLI
Corp. has been paying special dividends to its shareholders over
the past few years. This is in addition to the regular dividend
payout as well as dividend hikes made by the company. Its current
dividend yields 1.4%.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 3.7% to $4.82 per
share while the same for 2014 moved north by 1.4% to $4.62 over
the last 60 days.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other players in the property and casualty industry, which look
attractive at current levels, include
Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG
AmTrust Financial Services, Inc
). All these stocks hold the same Zacks Rank as RLI Corp.