CNO Financial reports lower earnings, revenue

Carmel-based insurance holding company CNO Financial Group Inc. on Wednesday reported lower earnings and revenue in the third quarter.

The company reported earnings of $33.8 million, or 18 cents per share, compared with $117.4 million, or 54 cents per share, in the same period of 2014.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 30 cents per share. On that basis, the results missed the average estimate of 34 cents per share by three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

CNO posted revenue of $904.5 million in the period, down from $967 million a year ago.

"Sales increases and solid customer retention delivered third quarter premium growth and expanded market reach," said CNO CEO Ed Bonach in a written statement.  "Continued strong capital and liquidity levels provide us with numerous opportunities to focus on additional initiatives aimed at growing and advancing our businesses, and make steady progress on CNO's strategy to serve the U.S. middle-income market."

CNO shares closed at $19.70 Wednesday prior to the earnings announcement. The shares have risen 14 percent since the beginning of the year.

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