The RLI Corp. board of directors announced a two-for-one stock split during its regularly scheduled August meeting. The split is for shareholders of record as of Sept. 30, 2002, and will be payable Oct. 15, 2002. The split will increase total common shares outstanding to approximately 19.9 million.
The board also voted to increase the quarterly cash dividend by 5.9% from $.085 per share to $.09 per share on post-split outstanding common stock (from $.17 to $.18 per share on a pre-split basis). This dividend increase, the company’s second this year, will also apply to shareholders of record as of Sept. 30, 2002, and will be payable Oct. 15, 2002.
With its 105th consecutive paid dividend, RLI will bring the cumulative return to its shareholders to more than $71 million. RLI has increased its dividend for 27 consecutive years since the company began paying cash dividends in 1976. In its most recent edition, Mergent’s Dividend Achievers ranked RLI 176th among 11,000 U.S. public companies for 10-year average dividend growth rate.
“The stock split and dividend increase reflect management’s and the board’s confidence in the company’s future,” said RLI Corp. president & CEO Jonathan E. Michael. “We’re well positioned to capitalize on the improving insurance market. We are committed to enhancing shareholder value, and these actions contribute to this effort.”
In its latest published earnings release, RLI announced year-to-date net earnings of $19.1 million ($1.87 per pre-split diluted share) and net operating earnings of $17.2 million ($1.69 per pre-split diluted share). The total dollar and per-share amounts for both net and operating earnings set all-time company records.
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