RLI Reports Second Quarter 2012 Results

RLI Corp. (NYSE: RLI) – RLI Corp. reported second quarter 2012 operating earnings of $25.2 million ($1.17 per share), compared to $38.5 million ($1.80 per share) for the second quarter of 2011. For the six months ended June 30, 2012, operating earnings were $45.8 million ($2.13 per share) compared to $63.3 million ($2.97 per share) for the same period in 2011.
 
    Second Quarter
Earnings Per Diluted Share   2012   2011*
Operating earnings (1) $1.17   $1.80
Net earnings   $1.15   $2.11
 
*Second quarter 2011 results were revised to reflect the retrospective adoption of a new accounting standard for policy acquisition costs.
(1) See discussion of non-GAAP financial measures on page 3.
 

Highlights for the quarter included:
  • 9% growth in gross premiums written.
  • Underwriting income of $21.6 million, resulting in a combined ratio of 84.7.
  • Book value per share of $40.24, an increase of 7.4% from year end 2011.
  • $26.5 million net increase in underwriting income resulting from favorable development on prior years’ loss reserves.
  • $12.0 million net decrease in underwriting income resulting from 2012 spring storms.

“We are pleased with our performance and once again our underwriters delivered excellent results,” said RLI Corp. Chairman & CEO Jonathan E. Michael. “Premium production benefitted from improved market conditions, particularly within the casualty segment during the quarter. Our underwriters are seeing increased submission flow but remain, as always, disciplined in their pricing and risk selection.”

“We continued our long-standing underwriting track record, as evidenced by the 84.7 combined ratio this quarter, consistent with the 85 combined ratio we have averaged over the last 10 years. We remain well-positioned to succeed in all market conditions,” said Michael.

Underwriting income

RLI achieved $21.6 million of underwriting income in the second quarter of 2012 on an 84.7 combined ratio, compared to $42.1 million of underwriting income on a 67.8 combined ratio in the same quarter for 2011.
           
Underwriting Income (Loss)   Second Quarter Combined Ratio   Second Quarter
(in millions)   2012   2011*     2012   2011*
Casualty $ 11.0   $ 25.9 Casualty 83.2   55.7
Property (0.3 ) 7.4 Property 100.6 84.5
Surety     10.9       8.8 Surety   58.2   64.1
Total   $ 21.6     $ 42.1 Total   84.7   67.8
 

*Second quarter 2011 results were revised to reflect the retrospective adoption of a new accounting standard for policy acquisition costs.

Both periods were impacted by approximately $12 million in spring storm losses. Results for 2012 include $26.5 million in favorable development in prior years’ loss reserves, compared to $42.7 million in favorable development in prior years’ loss reserves in 2011.

RLI reported year-to-date underwriting income of $36.6 million representing an 86.9 combined ratio through June 30, 2012, versus $63.0 million of underwriting income representing a 74.5 combined ratio for the same period last year.

Other income

RLI’s net investment income for the quarter declined 2.3% to $14.8 million, compared to the same period in 2011. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2012, investment income was $30.1 million versus $31.5 million for the same period in 2011. The investment portfolio’s total return was 1.5% for the quarter. The bond portfolio gained 2.0% in the quarter, and the equity portfolio’s return was -0.1%. Through six months, the investment portfolio’s total return was 4.0% with the bond portfolio returning 3.0% and equities returning 7.5%.

Comprehensive earnings, which include after-tax unrealized gains/losses from the investment portfolio, were $30.6 million for the quarter ($1.42 per share) compared to $47.8 million ($2.24 per share) for the same quarter in 2011. Year-to-date comprehensive earnings were $69.5 million ($3.23 per share), compared to $80.7 million ($3.79 per share) for the same period last year.

During the quarter, equity in earnings of unconsolidated investee was $4.1 million compared to $3.9 million from the same period last year. These results are related to Maui Jim, Inc., a producer of premium sunglasses. For the six-month period, equity in earnings of unconsolidated investee was $7.1 million versus $6.5 million in 2011.

Dividend paid in the second quarter 2012

On June 20, 2012, the company paid a dividend of $0.32 per share, its 144 th consecutive quarterly dividend paid to shareholders. This dividend represents a $0.02 increase over the prior quarter, marking the 37 th consecutive year that RLI has increased its dividend.

Recently adopted accounting standard

As previously disclosed in RLI’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, accounting guidance for deferred acquisition costs incurred by insurance entities changed in 2012 under ASU 2010-26, Financial Services – Insurance (Topic 944) Accounting for Costs Associated with Acquiring or Renewing Insurance Contracts.

We adopted this new accounting standard, effective January 1, 2012, on a retrospective basis. Our adoption of the new standard resulted in a $40.3 million reduction of deferred policy acquisition costs asset and a $26.2 million decrease to consolidated shareholders’ equity, net of a $14.1 million deferred income tax benefit at December 31, 2011. The adjustment to shareholders’ equity resulted in a reduction in book value of $1.24 per share based on the number of shares outstanding at January 1, 2012.

The new standard affects the timing of the recognition of policy acquisition expenses. Costs associated with unsuccessful efforts or costs that cannot be tied directly to a successful policy acquisition are treated as period costs and expensed as incurred, as opposed to being deferred and amortized as the premium is earned. In periods of expansion, the new standard will result in an acceleration of expense recognition. In periods of contraction, the inverse will occur.

Comparative period information for the second quarter of 2011 has been revised to reflect changes resulting from our retrospective adoption of the new accounting standard. The second quarter of 2011 was a period where premium and business expanded. As a result, the application of the new standard resulted in a $3.7 million increase in policy acquisition costs recognized in the revised second quarter of 2011, and a corresponding 2.8 point increase to our revised combined ratio. The revised net earnings decreased by $2.4 million, or $0.11 per share. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2011, the application of the new standard resulted in a $1.8 million increase to policy acquisition costs, a 0.7 point increase to our combined ratio, and a $1.1 million, or $0.05 per share, decrease to net earnings. From a current year perspective, the impact of applying the new standard to the second quarter of 2012 resulted in an increase of approximately $1.9 million in policy acquisition costs recognized, which decreased net earnings by $0.06 per share. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2012, policy acquisition costs recognized have increased $3.5 million, which decreased net earnings by $0.11 per share. The increase in expense was due largely to costs associated with Contractors Bonding and Insurance Company, but was also impacted by investments in expansion of other products. Going forward, however, the impact of this new standard will vary based on expansion or contraction, as well as changes in mix of business.

Non-GAAP measures

Underwriting income, operating earnings, earnings per share (EPS) from operations and other per share items are non-GAAP financial measures, and we believe that investors’ understanding of RLI’s core operating performance is enhanced by our disclosure of these financial measures. Underwriting income or profit represents the pretax profitability of our insurance operations and is derived by subtracting losses and settlement expenses, policy acquisition costs, and insurance operating expenses from net premium earned. Operating earnings and EPS from operations consist of our net earnings adjusted by net realized investment gains/(losses) and taxes related to net realized gains/(losses). Our definitions of these items may not be comparable to the definitions used by other companies. Net earnings and net earnings per share are the GAAP financial measures that are most directly comparable to operating earnings and EPS from operations. All earnings per share data are calculated using fully diluted shares. Combined ratio refers to a GAAP combined ratio.

Other news

During the second quarter, the Company’s A+ “Superior” financial strength rating was reaffirmed by A.M. Best for the following RLI insurance subsidiaries – RLI Insurance Company, Mt. Hawley Insurance Company, and RLI Indemnity Company. In addition, Contractors Bonding and Insurance Company’s rating was upgraded to A+ “Superior” from A “Excellent”.

At 10 a.m. central time (CT) tomorrow, July 19, 2012, RLI management will hold a conference call to discuss quarterly results with insurance industry analysts. Interested parties may listen to the discussion through the Internet at www.rlicorp.com.

Except for historical information, this news release may include forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) including, without limitation, statements reflecting our current expectations about the future performance of our company or our business segments or about future market conditions. These statements are subject to certain risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Various risk factors that could affect future results are listed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission; including the Form 10-K Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2011.

RLI, a specialty insurance company, offers a diversified portfolio of property and casualty coverages and surety bonds serving niche or underserved markets. RLI operates in all 50 states from office locations across the country. RLI’s insurance subsidiaries – RLI Insurance Company, Mt. Hawley Insurance Company, RLI Indemnity Company and Contractors Bonding and Insurance Company – are rated A+ “Superior” by A.M. Best Company.

For additional information, contact Aaron Jacoby, Vice President, Corporate Development at 309-693-5880 or at aaron.jacoby@rlicorp.com or visit our website at www.rlicorp.com.

Supplemental disclosure regarding the earnings impact of specific items:
 
  Operating Earnings Per Share
2012   2011   2012   2011
2nd Qtr 2nd Qtr 6 Mos. 6 Mos.
Operating Earnings Per Share $ 1.17 $ 1.80 (1 ) $ 2.13 $ 2.97 (1 )
 
Specific items included in operating earnings per share: (2) (3)

• Favorable development on casualty prior years' reserves
$ 0.47 $ 0.90 $ 0.65 $ 1.13

• Favorable development on property prior years' reserves
$ 0.11 $ 0.26 $ 0.18 $ 0.31

• Favorable development on surety prior years' reserves
$ 0.22 $ 0.15 $ 0.17 $ 0.19

• Catastrophe impact

• 2012 spring storms
$ (0.36 ) $ - $ (0.36 ) $ -

• 2011 spring storms
$ (0.03 ) $ (0.36 ) $ (0.03 ) $ (0.36 )

• 2011 Hurricane Irene
$ 0.03 $ - $ 0.06 $ -
 
(1)   2011 results revised due to the retrospective adoption of a new accounting standard for policy acquisition costs.
(2) Includes bonus and profit sharing-related impacts which affected other insurance and general corporate expenses.
(3) Reserve development reflects changes from previously estimated losses.
 
RLI CORP.
2012 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
           
 
Three Months Ended June 30, Six Months Ended June 30,
2012 2011 (1) % Change 2012 2011 (1) % Change

SUMMARIZED INCOME STATEMENT DATA:
Net premiums earned $ 141,584 $ 130,826 8.2 % $ 278,864 $ 246,877 13.0 %
Net investment income 14,826 15,180 -2.3 % 30,119 31,483 -4.3 %
Net realized investment gains (losses)   (664 )   10,050       10,752     14,522   -26.0 %
Consolidated revenue 155,746 156,056 -0.2 % 319,735 292,882 9.2 %
 
Loss and settlement expenses 61,005 30,363 100.9 % 122,888 77,234 59.1 %
Policy acquisition costs 48,173 46,243 4.2 % 96,370 84,861 13.6 %
Other insurance expenses 10,783 12,130 -11.1 % 23,042 21,745 6.0 %
Interest expense on debt 1,525 1,512 0.9 % 3,025 3,024 0.0 %
General corporate expenses   1,815     1,964   -7.6 %   3,802     3,969   -4.2 %
Total expenses 123,301 92,212 33.7 % 249,127 190,833 30.5 %
 
Equity in earnings of
unconsolidated investee   4,123     3,886   6.1 %   7,069     6,502   8.7 %
 
Earnings before income taxes 36,568 67,730 -46.0 % 77,677 108,551 -28.4 %
Income tax expense   11,820     22,738   -48.0 %   24,891     35,853   -30.6 %
Net earnings $ 24,748   $ 44,992   -45.0 % $ 52,786   $ 72,698   -27.4 %
 
Other comprehensive earnings, net of tax   5,890     2,760   113.4 %   16,666     8,008   108.1 %
 
Comprehensive earnings $ 30,638   $ 47,752   -35.8 % $ 69,452   $ 80,706   -13.9 %
 
 
Operating earnings: (2)
 
Net earnings $ 24,748 $ 44,992 -45.0 % $ 52,786 $ 72,698 -27.4 %
 
Less: Realized investment gains (losses), net of tax   (431 )   6,533       6,989     9,440   -26.0 %
- - -- - - --
Operating earnings $ 25,179   $ 38,459   -34.5 % $ 45,797   $ 63,258   -27.6 %
 
Return on Equity:
Net earnings (trailing four quarters)   12.8 %   17.1 %
Comprehensive earnings (trailing four quarters)   16.4 %   20.6 %
 
Per Share Data
 

Diluted:
Weighted average shares outstanding (in 000's) 21,514 21,332 21,521 21,315
 
EPS from operations (2) $ 1.17 $ 1.80 -35.0 % $ 2.13 $ 2.97 -28.3 %
Realized gains (losses), net of tax   (0.02 )   0.31       0.32     0.44   -27.3 %
Net earnings per share $ 1.15   $ 2.11   -45.5 % $ 2.45   $ 3.41   -28.2 %
 
Comprehensive earnings per share $ 1.42   $ 2.24   -36.6 % $ 3.23   $ 3.79   -14.8 %
 
Cash dividends per share $ 0.32 $ 0.30 6.7 % $ 0.62 $ 0.59 5.1 %
 
 
Net Cash Flow provided by (used in) Operations (3) $ (28,806 ) $ 65,928     $ (32,053 ) $ 83,866    
 

(1)
 

Revised due to the retrospective adoption of a new accounting standard for policy acquisition costs.

(2)

See discussion of non-GAAP financial measures on page 3.

(3)

Operating cash flow was higher in the second quarter of 2011 due to $50 million in cash collateral received on a commercial surety account. During the second quarter of 2012, this collateral was returned and replaced with a letter of credit.
 
RLI CORP.
2012 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
     
 
June 30, December 31,
2012 2011 (1) % Change

SUMMARIZED BALANCE SHEET DATA:
Fixed income $ 1,404,470 $ 1,406,550 -0.1 %
(amortized cost - $1,335,245 at 6/30/12)
(amortized cost - $1,345,961 at 12/31/11)
Equity securities 406,074 388,689 4.5 %
(cost - $269,301 at 6/30/12)
(cost - $269,400 at 12/31/11)
Cash and cash equivalents   98,051   105,049   -6.7 %
Total investments and cash 1,908,595 1,900,288 0.4 %
 
Premiums and reinsurance balances receivable 166,810 124,496 34.0 %
Ceded unearned premiums 74,598 61,629 21.0 %
Reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses 321,688 353,805 -9.1 %
Deferred acquisition costs 55,924 52,105 7.3 %
Property and equipment 20,710 20,104 3.0 %
Investment in unconsolidated investee 56,558 49,968 13.2 %
Goodwill and intangibles 60,014 60,482 -0.8 %
Other assets   24,608   31,957   -23.0 %
Total assets $ 2,689,505 $ 2,654,834   1.3 %
 
Unpaid losses and settlement expenses 1,109,502 1,150,714 -3.6 %
Unearned premiums 385,344 341,267 12.9 %
Reinsurance balances payable 64,122 50,861 26.1 %
Funds held 59,595 110,555 -46.1 %
Long-term debt - bonds payable 100,000 100,000 0.0 %
Income taxes - deferred 50,905 37,867 34.4 %
Accrued expenses 36,888 58,883 -37.4 %
Other liabilities   29,424   12,053   144.1 %
Total liabilities 1,835,780 1,862,200 -1.4 %
Shareholders' equity   853,725   792,634   7.7 %
Total liabilities & shareholders' equity $ 2,689,505 $ 2,654,834   1.3 %
 
 
 

OTHER DATA
 
Common shares outstanding (in 000's) 21,218 21,162
 
Book value per share $ 40.24 $ 37.46 7.4 %
Closing stock price per share $ 68.20 $ 72.86 -6.4 %
Cash dividends per share - ordinary $ 1.26 $ 1.19 5.9 %
Cash dividends per share - special $ - $ 5.00
 
Statutory Surplus $ 780,746 $ 710,186 9.9 %
 

(1)
 

Revised due to the retrospective adoption of a new accounting standard for policy acquisition costs.
 
RLI CORP.
2012 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
UNDERWRITING SEGMENT DATA
(Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 
 

Three Months Ended June 30,
               
GAAP GAAP GAAP GAAP
Casualty Ratios Property Ratios Surety Ratios Total Ratios

2012
 
Gross premiums written $ 104,314 $ 97,209 $ 28,361 $ 229,884
Net premiums written 76,764 70,341 26,308 173,413
Net premiums earned 65,705 49,848 26,031 141,584
Net loss & settlement expenses 30,928 47.1 % 32,387 65.0 % (2,310 ) -8.9 % 61,005 43.1 %
Net operating expenses   23,726 36.1 %   17,751   35.6 %   17,479   67.1 %   58,956 41.6 %
Underwriting income (loss) $ 11,051 83.2 % $ (290 ) 100.6 % $ 10,862 58.2 % $ 21,623 84.7 %
 
 

2011 (1)
 
Gross premiums written $ 85,616 $ 97,418 $ 27,462 $ 210,496
Net premiums written 62,848 81,198 26,014 170,060
Net premiums earned 58,332 47,963 24,531 130,826
Net loss & settlement expenses 8,629 14.8 % 22,695 47.3 % (961 ) -3.9 % 30,363 23.2 %
Net operating expenses   23,859 40.9 %   17,836   37.2 %   16,678   68.0 %   58,373 44.6 %
Underwriting income $ 25,844 55.7 % $ 7,432 84.5 % $ 8,814 64.1 % $ 42,090 67.8 %
 
 
 
 

Six Months Ended June 30,
GAAP GAAP GAAP GAAP
Casualty Ratios Property Ratios Surety Ratios Total Ratios

2012
 
Gross premiums written $ 188,682 $ 161,061 $ 56,159 $ 405,902
Net premiums written 139,628 118,010 52,333 309,971
Net premiums earned 129,215 96,840 52,809 278,864
Net loss & settlement expenses 69,797 54.0 % 48,453 50.0 % 4,638 8.9 % 122,888 44.1 %
Net operating expenses   47,815 37.0 %   36,760   37.9 %   34,837   66.0 %   119,412 42.8 %
Underwriting income $ 11,603 91.0 % $ 11,627 87.9 % $ 13,334 74.9 % $ 36,564 86.9 %
 
 

2011 (1)
 
Gross premiums written $ 151,162 $ 153,706 $ 48,951 $ 353,819
Net premiums written 111,611 124,978 46,106 282,695
Net premiums earned 113,311 88,789 44,777 246,877
Net loss & settlement expenses 38,890 34.3 % 37,064 41.7 % 1,280 2.9 % 77,234 31.3 %
Net operating expenses   43,040 38.0 %   34,260   38.6 %   29,306   65.4 %   106,606 43.2 %
Underwriting income $ 31,381 72.3 % $ 17,465 80.3 % $ 14,191 68.3 % $ 63,037 74.5 %
 

(1)
 

Revised due to the retrospective adoption of a new accounting standard for policy acquisition costs.
 

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