RLI’s board of directors has declared a second quarter cash dividend of $0.22 per share, reflecting a two-cent, or 10 percent increase over the prior quarter’s dividend, a company statement said.
The dividend, which is payable on July 13, 2007, to shareholders of record as of June 29, 2007, will take RLI’s cumulative return to shareholders to more than $143 million over 124 consecutive quarterly dividends. The company’s dividend yield would be 1.6 percent, based on the $0.88 indicated annual dividend and yesterday’s closing stock price of $55.99.
Over the last five years, the company’s quarterly dividend has grown by an average of 20.9 percent per year, and 13.9 percent per year over the last decade, the company release said. Mergent’s Dividend Achievers currently ranks RLI 83rd among 11,000 public companies for having the longest record of consecutive dividend increases. The company has increased dividends for 32 straight years.
In other action, the board adopted a new stock repurchase program for up to $100 million of RLI common stock. The stock repurchase program will be conducted on an ongoing basis and will be subject to availability of stock, market conditions, the trading price of the stock and the company’s financial performance. As previously announced, the company concluded a similar $100 million buyback program last quarter.
Peoria, Ill.-based RLI, a specialty insurance company, focusing on property and casualty coverages and surety bonds serving “niche” or underserved markets.