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CNO Financial profits beat analysts' predictions

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Profit at CNO Financial Group Inc. was flat in the fourth quarter, but the Carmel-based life insurer still beat analysts’ predictions.

CNO Financial earned $73 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, in the three months ended Dec. 31. In the same quarter a year ago, the company earned $168.2 million—of which $95 million was one-time gain from an accounting adjustment.

Excluding investment gains, CNO’s operations generated $60.1 million, or 22 cents per share, in its most recent quarter. On that basis, Wall Street analysts were expecting CNO to earn 19 cents per share in the quarter, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Earnings on existing policies and sales of new policies rose in the fourth quarter at all three of CNO’s subsidiaries—Chicago-based Bankers Life, Carmel-based Washington National and Philadelphia-based Colonial Penn.

“We were especially pleased with our sales momentum,” said CNO Chief Executive Ed Bonach, “and that CNO's key measures of financial strength … all continued to improve.”

CNO’s revenue totaled $1.05 billion in the fourth quarter. That was 2 percent lower than the same quarter last year, driven by lower investment gains and income. Analysts were expecting only $1.01 billion in revenue.

For all of 2011, CNO’s profits grew 34 percent to $382.5 million, compared with the previous year. On a per-share basis, CNO earned $1.31 for the year, compared with 99 cents the year before.

Revenue for the year grew 1 percent to $4.1 billion.

In the past 12 months, CNO’s share price has risen nearly 18 percent. Its shares closed Wednesday, before the company’s earnings announcement, at $7.48 apiece.

 

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

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