Conseco says profit in line with estimates-WEB ONLY

Conseco Inc. said it would meet analysts’ expectations for the second quarter by posting earnings of at least 22 cents per share, before investment losses.

The Carmel-based health insurer announced the preliminary financial results today after the market closed. Its total net income will swing to a gain of $16 million to $28 million compared with a $489 million loss a year ago due to accounting charges.

Excluding such special charges, Conseco’s profit a year ago would have been $8 million.

Conseco was still plagued by investment losses in the most recent quarter, which it expects to fall in the range of $13 million to $25 million-significantly higher than it recorded in the first quarter. Conseco held some of the bonds of CIT Group, the troubled small business lender.

Such losses would slice Conseco’s earnings per share to a range of 9 cents to 15 cents.

Conseco will issue final financial results on Aug. 4 after the markets close.

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