Stock buyback continues at CNO

CNO Financial Group continues its buyback tear, snapping up an additional $80.7 million, or 3.8 percent, of its own stock during the fourth quarter.

The stock purchase, at an average cost of $9.34 a share, brings to 21.5 million the number of shares the Carmel-based parent of Bankers Life purchased in 2012, for a total $180.2 million.

CNO also announced Dec. 31 that it made a $30.4 million principal payment under a senior secured credit agreement.

The company has been restructuring its debt to reduce its interest costs.

CNO’s shares rose about 48 percent last year.

The successor to the former Conseco Inc. also owns insurers Washington National and Colonial Penn.

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