CNO Financial suffers $529M quarterly loss on reinsurance deal

Carmel-based insurance holding company CNO Financial Group Inc. on Wednesday reported a third-quarter loss of more than $500 million despite sales growth in all three of its business units.

CNO reported a loss for the third quarter of $529.8 million, or $3.22 per share, compared with a profit of $100.8 million, or 59 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2017.  

The results reflected a one-time loss of $661.1 million, or $4.01 per share, related to a previously announced transaction with Wilton Reassurance Co.  to reinsure legacy comprehensive and nursing home long-term care insurance policies from CNO unit Bankers Life and Casualty Co.

Quarterly earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 53 cents per share, topping the average estimate of 52 cents per share by three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

CNO had revenue of $1.48 billion in the period, up from $1.07 billion in the quarter of 2017.

Collected premiums rose on a year-over-year basis at CNO businesses Bankers Life, Colonial Penn and Washington National.

“CNO reported sales growth at all three of our businesses this quarter, as various growth initiatives implemented over the past several quarters begin to yield positive results,” CEO Gary Bhojwani said in written statements. “I am also very pleased that we closed on our long-term care reinsurance transaction with Wilton Reassurance Company. While we will experience a one-time charge due to this agreement, this transaction materially reduces the long-term risk profile of the company and enables us to focus on serving more middle American families and accelerating profitable growth.”

CNO shares closed Wednesday at $18.90 each, down about 23 percent since the beginning of the year.

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