Moody's might downgrade Conseco debt rating

April 17, 2008

Moody's Investors Service said today it is considering another downgrade of Conseco Inc. and its life insurance units after it bumped the Carmel company to negative from stable in September last year.

Conseco's $173 million operating loss in 2007 was "well below expectations" largely due to ongoing problems with its long-term care business, and earnings "challenges" will continue, Moody's said.

"While Conseco has made meaningful progress in improving its capital structure, there are still concerns over the number of continuing one-time charges that have impacted the company's earnings and capital position," it said.

Another downgrade would affect $1.2 billion in debt. Conseco's senior bank debt is currently rated at Ba3.

Conseco shares are steady today, trading at $11.29.

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