RLI Corp. (NYSE: RLI) – RLI Corp. reported fourth quarter 2011 operating earnings of $28.9 million ($1.35 per share), versus $35.1 million ($1.66 per share) for the comparable period last year. For the year ended December 31, 2011, operating earnings were $119.5 million ($5.58 per share), compared to $112.3 million ($5.29 per share) for the 2010 fiscal year.
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Highlights for the quarter included:
- Combined ratio of 81.5.
- Underwriting income of $26.8 million.
- 12% growth in gross premiums written, including 8% growth driven by CBIC acquisition.
- $10.6 million ($0.32 per share) pretax favorable development in prior years’ loss reserves, net of effects on bonus and profit sharing-related expenses.
- Comprehensive earnings of $58.3 million ($2.72 per share).
- Special dividend of $5.00 per share, representing $105.8 million returned to shareholders and resulting in a tax benefit of $2.7 million ($0.13 per share) as dividends to the ESOP are fully deductible.
Highlights for the year-ended 2011 included:
- Combined ratio of 78.4.
- Underwriting income of $116.3 million.
- 10% growth in gross premiums written, including 6% growth driven by CBIC acquisition.
- $91.7 million ($2.79 per share) pretax favorable development in prior years’ loss reserves, net of effects on bonus and profit sharing-related expenses.
- Comprehensive earnings of $151.9 million ($7.09 per share).
- Book value per share of $38.69 at year-end, representing an increase of 16%, excluding the special dividend.
- Return on equity for the trailing four quarters was 15.7%.
- Acquired Contractors Bonding and Insurance Company (CBIC).
“Throughout the fourth quarter and the year, we delivered strong financial results to our shareholders despite the challenges presented by a tough operating environment,” said RLI Corp. Chairman & CEO Jonathan E. Michael. “Our success reflects the advantages derived from our diversified business model and focus on disciplined underwriting and execution. I am pleased that we were able to share this success with our shareholders through a special dividend that was paid in the quarter.”
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