Conseco slapped with rating downgrades

August 8, 2007
Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best have downgraded debt of Conseco Inc. after second-quarter earnings released by the Carmel-based insurer Monday evening disappointed investors.

Standard & Poor's bumped senior debt ratings and counterparty credit ratings to B+ from BB-.

A.M. Best cut its rating to B+ from B++.

Conseco said its loss widened to $64.5 million, from $31.8 million a year earlier, because it bulked up reserves for older, long-term-care policies it no longer sells but still supports. That payment more than doubles the total Conseco has spent in the last year to shore up reserves on the policies, which typically pay for nursing home and in-home care for seniors.

The rate of claims on long-term-care policies has far exceeded initial projections, leading to losses.

Conseco stock closed at $16.64 a share yesterday, down from $18.07 on Monday.

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