CNO reports higher profit, tops analyst expectations

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CNO Financial Group Inc. on Tuesday reported quarterly earnings that slightly exceeded analyst expectations.

The Carmel-based insurance holding company said it had a second-quarter profit of $59.9 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $46.8 million, or 24 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2015.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 35 cents per share. On that basis, three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were expecting earnings of 34 cents per share.

The company reported revenue of just more than $1 billion in the period, up from $959.5 million a year ago.

CNO collected $863.0 million in premiums in the latest quarter, up 4 percent from the same quarter of 2015. First-year collected premiums rose 5 percent, to $304 million, in the quarter.

Adjusted earnings rose from $86.4 million to $93.3 million at CNO's Bankers Life subsidiary and from $20.1 million to $21.5 million at Washington National. Adjusted earnings slipped from $4.2 million to $3 million at Colonial Penn.

"We continue to see growth in our business, underscored by increases in collected premiums, policies in-force and annuity account values," Ed Bonach, CEO of CNO, said in a written statement  "Our earnings, cash flow, capital, liquidity and returns to shareholders remain strong."

CNO shares closed at $18.43 each Tuesday, down 3.5 percent since the beginning of the year.

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