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Conseco shares jump after profit report

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Shares of Conseco Inc. soared today in response to the company’s preliminary report of second-quarter profits.

The Carmel-based insurer’s stock price jumped as much as 53 percent, to $2.91, before settling a bit in the afternoon.

Conseco said late yesterday that it would meet analysts’ expectations for the second quarter by posting earnings of at least 22 cents per share, before investment losses.

The Carmel-based health insurer announced the preliminary financial results after the market closed yesterday. It said its total net income will swing to a gain of $16 million to $28 million compared with a $489 million loss a year ago due to accounting charges.

Excluding such special charges, Conseco’s profit a year ago would have been $8 million.

Conseco was still plagued by investment losses in the most recent quarter, which it expects to fall in the range of $13 million to $25 million—significantly higher than it recorded in the first quarter.

Such losses would slice Conseco’s earnings per share to a range of 9 cents to 15 cents.

Conseco will issue final financial results on Aug. 4 after the markets close.

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