CNO Financial posts fourth-quarter profit but full-year loss

Carmel-based insurance holding company CNO Financial Group Inc. saw sales and premium growth at all three of its business units last year, but a previously reported third-quarter transaction contributed to a full-year loss for the company.

The company last week reported a net loss of $315 million, or $1.90 per diluted share, for the full year, as compared with profit of $175.6 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, in 2017.

Full-year results were affected by a previously announced long-term care reinsurance transaction that took place in the third quarter of 2018. That 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., resulted in a one-time third-quarter loss of $661.1 million, or $4 per diluted share.

For the fourth quarter alone, CNO posted profit of $28.3 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $70.9 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, during the same quarter a year earlier.

Collected premiums for the year totaled $3.8 billion, up 3 percent from 2017. The company saw both quarterly and full-year premium growth in its Bankers Life, Colonial Penn and Washington National business units.

CNO shares were trading at $17.31 Monday morning. Shares of the company have traded between $13.64 and $23.84 over the past year.

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