Insurers and Conseco/CNO Financial and Health Care & Insurance

CNO Financial sees quarterly profit soar, beating expectations

July 27, 2011

Profit soared 80 percent at CNO Financial Group Inc. in its second quarter and topped the expectations of Wall Street analysts, the company announced Wednesday.

The Carmel-based life and health insurer earned $59.5 million in the three months ended June 30, up from $33.1 million the same period a year ago.

Those results translated to earnings of 21 cents per share, up from 12 cents per share a year ago.

Excluding investment gains, CNO earned 20 cents per share, 2 cents higher than the 18 cents analysts were expecting, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

CNO’s revenue rose 8 percent, to $1.03 billion, squeaking past analysts’ predictions of $1.02 billion.

“We are also pleased that CNO's capital strength continued to grow, primarily fueled by our earnings, allowing us to buy back shares and continue to pay down debt," said CNO Chief Financial Officer Ed Bonach in a prepared statement. Bonach will become the company’s CEO at the end of September when current chief Jim Prieur retires.

CNO’s profit growth was driven by its two largest units. Chicago-based Bankers life boosted its earnings before interest and taxes by 32 percent, to nearly $85 million. The Carmel-based Washington National unit saw 7-percent growth in earnings before interest and taxes, to $22.7 million.

Profit at CNO’s other unit, Philadelphia-based Colonial Penn, was flat.

CNO announced its financial results after the market closed. Its shares fell 4 percent on the day to close at $7.42 apiece. They are still up by more than 9 percent for the year.

 

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