CNO earnings in line with analyst expectations

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CNO Financial Group Inc. saw a decline in revenue and profit in the fourth quarter, but the results met or exceeded analyst expectations.

The Carmel-based insurance holding company on Wednesday reported quarterly profit of $83.9 million, or 41 cents per share, down from $106 million, or 47 cents per share, a year ago.

Earnings adjusted for non-recurring gains came to 34 cents per share, matching Wall Street expectations.

CNO reported revenue of $1 billion in the period, down from $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. The results exceeded a forecast of $972.6 million by analysts.

Revenue fell because CNO no longer owns Conseco Life Insurance Co., which it sold July 1 to Wilton Reassurance Co. for about $220 million.

Operating earnings rose 25 percent in the quarter at CNO’s Banker’s Life unit, to $103.5 million.

Washington National’s operating earnings dropped 47 percent, to $20.2 million, due to unfavorable adjustments following an actuarial review.

Colonial Penn had operating earnings of $2.8 million, up from a loss of $4.1 million the previous year.

For the year, CNO reported profit of $51.4 million, or 24 cents per share. Annual revenue fell 7.4 percent, to $4.14 billion.

CNO shares rose 25 cents Thursday morning, to $16.92 each.

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