RLI Corp. (NYSE:RLI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of RLI Corp underperformed the industry year to date. Exposure to catastrophe losses and escalating expenses raise concerns. Nonetheless, 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 is set to release third quarter results on Oct 18. A Zacks Rank #4 combined with Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes prediction difficult.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub cut RLI Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. FBR & Co restated a “hold” rating on shares of RLI Corp. in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the stock. RLI Corp. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.50.

Shares of RLI Corp. (RLI) traded down 0.90% during trading on Thursday, hitting $57.13. The stock had a trading volume of 31,486 shares. RLI Corp. has a 12-month low of $50.34 and a 12-month high of $69.21. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.28 and a beta of 1.24. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $55.09 and its 200-day moving average is $55.87.

RLI Corp. (NYSE:RLI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The insurance provider reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $196.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $198.09 million. RLI Corp. had a return on equity of 10.10% and a net margin of 12.38%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.61 earnings per share. Analysts predict that RLI Corp. will post $2.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Michael E. Angelina acquired 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $54.41 per share, for a total transaction of $54,410.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Michael J. Stone sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.95, for a total transaction of $173,850.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.09% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in RLI. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in RLI Corp. by 100.0% during the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 8,600 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $516,000 after purchasing an additional 4,300 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in RLI Corp. by 14.8% during the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 47,180 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,832,000 after purchasing an additional 6,070 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp acquired a new position in RLI Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $672,000. Sei Investments Co. raised its position in RLI Corp. by 59.4% during the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 20,292 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,218,000 after purchasing an additional 7,559 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its position in RLI Corp. by 28.1% during the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 86,155 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $5,171,000 after purchasing an additional 18,878 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.91% of the company’s stock.

RLI Corp. 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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