CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $17.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “CNO Financial’s top-line has been witnessing growth over the past several years. Its Bankers Life and Washington National segments are poised for growth as well. Its tie-up with Wilton Reassurance Company on the back of growth initiatives launched in the last two years, will likely boost its growth going forward. Its capital management also impresses. However, its shares have underperformed its industry in a year's time. Its earnings per share of 48 cents came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but were down 2% year over year in the second quarter of 2019. Its deteriorating debt burden persists to elevate interest expenses, which drains the margins. Expenses of the company are expected to increase going forward and might drag its bottom line. The company’s performance was negatively impacted by its Long-term care segment.”

Shares of CNO stock opened at $16.46 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $2.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.99 and a beta of 1.23. CNO Financial Group has a one year low of $13.64 and a one year high of $22.13. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $15.27 and its 200-day moving average price is $16.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 0.25 and a quick ratio of 0.25.

CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The financial services provider reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48. The firm had revenue of $979.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $956.66 million. CNO Financial Group had a negative net margin of 9.67% and a positive return on equity of 7.71%. The company’s revenue was down 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.49 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that CNO Financial Group will post 1.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 24th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 10th will be given a dividend of $0.11 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 9th. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.67%. CNO Financial Group’s payout ratio is 24.04%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CNO. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of CNO Financial Group by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,753,540 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $26,092,000 after purchasing an additional 21,724 shares during the period. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new stake in CNO Financial Group in the 1st quarter valued at $180,000. Rhumbline Advisers increased its holdings in CNO Financial Group by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 551,748 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,927,000 after acquiring an additional 3,780 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank increased its holdings in CNO Financial Group by 3.3% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 162,662 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,702,000 after acquiring an additional 5,213 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Texas Permanent School Fund increased its holdings in CNO Financial Group by 1.3% in the 1st quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 109,123 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,766,000 after acquiring an additional 1,379 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.47% of the company’s stock.

About CNO Financial Group

CNO Financial Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, and administers health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. It operates through Bankers Life, Washington National, Colonial Penn, and Long-Term Care in Run Off segments.

Read More: Understanding the Price to Earnings Ratio (PE)

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