CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:CNO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “CNO Financial’s low market share in some product lines might limit business opportunities going forward. Also, the suspension of the share buyback plan for this year might affect the bottom line. However, the company’s strong underwriting results pave the way for long term growth. The company’s third quarter earnings of $0.37 per share handily beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.7% and grew 23% year over year driven by solid revenues. CNO Financial’s capital position and efficient capital management via share buyback and dividend payout remain strength. Technological advancement has helped the company increase productivity in spite of pressures related to agent recruitment. The company is presently engaged in strategizing plans to reduce long-term care exposure via run-off of existing non-performing businesses, reinsurance and focus on growth of other potential business lines.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. BTIG Research cut shares of CNO Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $17.00 price target on shares of CNO Financial Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co. assumed coverage on shares of CNO Financial Group in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut shares of CNO Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $21.00 to $17.00 in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG set a $16.00 price target on shares of CNO Financial Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 30th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $18.61.

Analyst Recommendations for CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO)

Shares of CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) opened at 17.90 on Tuesday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $16.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $16.93. The company has a market capitalization of $3.11 billion, a PE ratio of 12.47 and a beta of 1.19. CNO Financial Group has a 52 week low of $14.30 and a 52 week high of $20.88.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 7th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.79%. CNO Financial Group’s payout ratio is currently 22.54%.

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In other news, EVP Susan L. Menzel sold 79,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.50, for a total transaction of $1,391,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 1,960 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,300. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. UBS Group AG raised its stake in shares of CNO Financial Group by 226.3% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 39,318 shares of the company’s stock valued at $704,000 after buying an additional 27,269 shares during the last quarter. Seven Eight Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of CNO Financial Group during the first quarter valued at about $102,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in shares of CNO Financial Group by 66,979.9% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 93,241 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,628,000 after buying an additional 93,102 shares during the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new stake in shares of CNO Financial Group during the second quarter valued at about $264,000. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of CNO Financial Group by 74.4% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 10,740 shares of the company’s stock valued at $188,000 after buying an additional 4,580 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 96.91% of the company’s stock.

About CNO Financial Group

CNO Financial Group, Inc is a holding company for a group of insurance companies operating across the United States that develop, market and administer health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products. It operates through three operating segments: Bankers Life, Washington National and Colonial Penn.

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