CNO sees smaller profit after paying off debt

CNO Financial Group Inc. saw a major drop in earnings in the first quarter after suffering a $57.2 million loss in the period on the extinguishment of debt.

The Carmel-based parent of insurers Bankers Life, Colonial Penn and Washington National on Wednesday reported quarterly earnings of $11.9 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with $59.1 million, or 21 cents per share, for the same quarter of 2012.

Revenue improved to $1.14 billion in the quarter, from $1.12 billion last year.

Operating earnings of $49.7 million, or 21 cents per share, met analyst expectations.

CNO shares closed at $11.18 each on Wednesday before the earnings announcement and are up 19.8 percent since the beginning of the year.

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