RLI Earnings Preview

Investors are on the edge of their collective seats, hoping that RLI (NYSE: RLI  ) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, Jan. 25. RLI underwrites selected property and casualty insurance through its subsidiaries, collectively known as RLI Insurance Group.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on RLI with analysts unanimously rating it hold. Analysts don't like RLI as much as competitor OneBeacon Insurance Group overall. One out of six analysts rate OneBeacon Insurance Group a buy compared to zero of nine for RLI. RLI's rating hasn't changed over the past three months.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $136.1 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 10.3% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $1.14 per share. Estimates range from $1.05 to $1.25.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 90.9% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 92.7% granting it a rating of "outperform." Fools are keen on RLI, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 32 posts in the past 30 days. RLI has a bullish CAPS rating of five out of five stars that is about on par with the Fool community assessment.

Management:
RLI's profit has risen year over year by an average of 17.4% over the past five quarters. The company's revenue has now risen for two straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q3

Q2

Q1

Q4

Net Margin

16.1%

30.4%

19.3%

26.5%

One final thing: If you want to keep tabs on RLI movements, and for more analysis on the company, make sure you add it to your Watchlist.

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