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RLI's Q2 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates, Rise Y/Y

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RLI Corp.’s (RLI - Free Report) second-quarter 2021 operating earnings of $1.09 per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 49.3%. The bottom line also improved 41.6% from the prior-year quarter.

RLI witnessed improved premiums from Casualty, Surety and Property segments along with improving combined ratio in the reported quarter.

RLI Corp. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Operational Performance

Operating revenues for the reported quarter totaled $258 million, up 14.1% year over year. This upside can be attributed to higher net premiums earned, partially offset by reduced net investment income. Moreover, the top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.9%.

Gross premiums written increased 25% year over year to $358.9 million. This uptick can be attributed to solid performance of Casualty, Property and Surety segments. Moreover, net premiums written of $282.5 million increased 22.8% on a year-over-year basis, which was primarily due to higher premiums written in the Casualty, Property and Surety segments.

However, net investment income declined 1.5% year over year to $16.7 million.

Total expenses increased 11.4% year over year to $209.9 million, primarily due to higher loss and settlement expenses, policy acquisition costs, insurance operating expenses and general corporate expenses.

The company reported underwriting income of $36.6 million, which surged 51.2% from the year-ago period, courtesy of robust performance of Casualty and Property segments, partially offset by weak performance of the Surety segment.

Combined ratio improved 360 basis points (bps) year over year to 84.8%.

Financial Update

The company exited the second quarter with total investments and cash of $3 billion, up 7% from 2020 end.

Book value was $27.46 per share as of Jun 30, 2021, up 9.1% from the figure as of Dec 31, 2020.

Long-term debt was $149.6 million, which inched up 0.1% from 2020 end.

Statutory surplus increased 9.5% to $1.2 billion as of Jun 30, 2021 from the figure as of Dec 31, 2020.

Return on equity was 23.5%, reflecting an expansion of 650 bps year over year.

Net cash flow from operations was $104.2 million in the quarter under review, up 16.4% from the year-ago period.

Dividend Update

On Jun 18, the company paid out a cash dividend of 25 cents per share, which reflects a hike of 4.2% from the prior dividend payout of 24 cents. Dividends totaled more than $500 million in the last five years.

Zacks Rank & Performance of Other Insurers

RLI currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Among other insurance industry players, which have reported second-quarter earnings so far, the bottom line of The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) and The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV - Free Report) beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Upcoming Release

W. R. Berkley Corporation (WRB - Free Report) is scheduled to release second-quarter earnings on Jul 22 after market close.