CNO Financial’s quarterly earnings, revenue rise

Insurance holding company CNO Financial Group Inc. said Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings jumped nearly four times over last year's third quarter, but mostly because of a one-time gain from the release of an allowance for deferred tax assets.

The Carmel-based parent of Bankers Life, Washington National and Penn insurance companies posted earnings of $196 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with $49.4 million, or 17 cents per share, a year ago.

The results included the release of $143 million of tax valuation allowance.

Net operating income, which excludes the allowance and other one-time items, was $46.5 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with $47.1 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago.

The results matched the 17 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue fell 5.7 percent, to $992.3 million from $1.05 billion.

Analysts were expecting $1.01 billion.

Revenue from insurance policies was nearly flat at $673.5 million, compared with $674.5 million. Net investment income from general accounts rose 3.6 percent, to $338.2 million, while investments from policyholder and reinsurer accounts and other sources resulted in a loss of $54.9 million. Last year, the investments earned $43.3 million.

CNO’s Chicago-based Bankers Life unit and Philadelphia-based Colonial Penn unit saw sales increase 10 percent in the quarter compared to a year ago. Sales at the Carmel-based Washington National unit rose 3 percent.

Realized investment gains rose 19 percent, to $33.5 million.

CNO announced the results after markets closed. Shares fell 30 cents Tuesday, or 5 percent, to close at $5.65 per share. The company's stock price has fallen 16.7 percent since the beginning of the year.

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