Conseco/CNO Financial and Insurance and Health Care & Insurance

Conseco profit edges analyst expectations

May 4, 2010

Conseco Inc. beat analysts' estimates with a modest rise in first quarter profit, the company announced today.

The Carmel-based life and health insurer earned $33.9 million, more than 38 percent higher than during the same quarter a year ago. Nearly all of that increase, however, was due to lower losses on investments and debt modifications.

Excluding those things, Conseco would have earned $38.2 million this year, or 14 cents per share, up from $37.5 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier. In the past year, Conseco issued nearly 66 million additional shares as part of a recapitalization of the company.

Wall Street analysts were expecting 13 cents per share, excluding investment results, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Losses on investments and debt modifications narrowed in the quarter to $4.3 million, or 1 cent per share, from $13 million, or 7 cents per share, a year ago.

Profits increased at Conseco’s Bankers Life and Colonial Penn subsidiaries, but fell at its Conseco Insurance unit, which is based in Carmel.

However, sales of new policies were strongest at Conseco Insurance, rising 12 percent compared with the first quarter last year. Sales also rose at Chicago-based Bankers and Philadelphia-based Colonial.

Revenue for the quarter fell 6 percent to $1 billion. Analysts expected $1.04 billion.

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