Head to Head Contrast: RLI (NYSE:RLI) and Protective Insurance (PTVCB)

Protective Insurance (NASDAQ:PTVCB) and RLI (NYSE:RLI) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, valuation, risk and earnings.


Protective Insurance pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. RLI pays an annual dividend of $0.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. RLI pays out 42.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. RLI has raised its dividend for 42 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

Protective Insurance has a beta of 0.77, suggesting that its share price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, RLI has a beta of 0.93, suggesting that its share price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

48.7% of Protective Insurance shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.3% of RLI shares are held by institutional investors. 38.1% of Protective Insurance shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.0% of RLI shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Protective Insurance and RLI’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Protective Insurance -7.80% -3.67% -1.01%
RLI 7.84% 10.96% 3.05%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Protective Insurance and RLI’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Protective Insurance $439.17 million 0.57 -$34.08 million N/A N/A
RLI $818.12 million 3.98 $64.18 million $2.05 35.64

RLI has higher revenue and earnings than Protective Insurance.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Protective Insurance and RLI, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Protective Insurance 0 0 0 0 N/A
RLI 1 3 0 0 1.75

RLI has a consensus price target of $59.00, suggesting a potential downside of 19.24%. Given RLI’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe RLI is more favorable than Protective Insurance.


RLI beats Protective Insurance on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Protective Insurance

Protective Insurance Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in marketing and underwriting property and casualty insurance products. The company offers a range of fleet transportation insurance products, including commercial motor vehicle liability, physical damage, and general liability insurance; workers compensation insurance; medical and indemnity insurance products; non-trucking motor vehicle liability insurance; fidelity and surety bonds; and inland marine products consisting of cargo insurance. It also provides various additional services, such as risk surveys and analyses, safety program design and monitoring, government compliance assistance, loss control, and cost studies; research, development, and consultation in connection with new insurance programs that comprise development of systems to assist customers in monitoring their accident data; and claims handling services to clients with self-insurance programs. It serves trucking and public transportation fleets, as well as independent contractors in the trucking industry. The company primarily operates in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. Protective Insurance Corporation was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.

About RLI

RLI Corp., an insurance holding company, underwrites property and casualty insurance in the United States and internationally. Its Casualty segment provides commercial and personal coverage products; and general liability products, such as coverage for third-party liability of commercial insureds, including manufacturers, contractors, apartments, and mercantile. This segment also offers coverages for security guards and in the areas of onshore energy-related businesses and environmental liability for underground storage tanks, contractors and asbestos, and environmental remediation specialists; and professional liability coverages focuses on providing errors and omission coverage to small to medium-sized design, technical, computer, and miscellaneous professionals. In addition, this segment provides commercial automobile liability and physical damage insurance to local, intermediate and long haul truckers, public transportation entities, and equipment dealers; incidental and related insurance coverages; inland marine coverages; management liability coverages, such as directors and officers liability insurance, fiduciary liability and fidelity coverages, and for low to moderate classes of risks, including public and private businesses; and healthcare liability and home business insurance products. The company's Property segment offers commercial property, cargo, hull, protection and indemnity, marine liability, inland marine, homeowners' and dwelling fire, and other property insurance products. Its Surety segment offers small bonds for businesses and individuals; bonds for small to medium-sized contractors; commercial surety bonds for medium-to-large businesses; and commercial surety bonds for the energy, petrochemical, and refining industries. The company also underwrites various reinsurance coverages. The company markets its products through branch offices and independent agents. RLI Corp. was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois.

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