CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:CNO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “CNO Financial’s low market share in some product lines might limit business opportunities and leave an adverse impact on profitability. Also the suspension of share buyback plan for this year might affect the bottom line. However, the company has been largely benefited by the Launch of new units like bankers Life Securities and Bankers Life Advisory Services that are likely to help the company in growing its retirement business. A strong capital position and efficient capital management via share buyback and dividend payout also work as strength. Technological advancement has helped the company to increase productivity, though the pressures of agent recruitment continue. 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 the growth of other potential business lines.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Deutsche Bank AG set a $16.00 price target on shares of CNO Financial Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods decreased their price target on shares of CNO Financial Group from $20.00 to $19.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut shares of CNO Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $21.00 to $17.00 in a research note on Friday, September 30th. Wells Fargo & Co. assumed coverage on shares of CNO Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $19.00 price target on shares of CNO Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $18.85.

Analyst Recommendations for CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO)

Shares of CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) opened at 15.63 on Friday. CNO Financial Group has a 52 week low of $14.30 and a 52 week high of $20.88. The company’s 50-day moving average is $15.65 and its 200 day moving average is $17.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.50 and a beta of 1.23.

CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.35. CNO Financial Group had a net margin of 7.20% and a return on equity of 5.68%. The firm earned $1 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $961.56 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.34 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that CNO Financial Group will post $1.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, September 9th were issued a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 7th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.05%. CNO Financial Group’s payout ratio is 21.48%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. State Treasurer State of Michigan raised its position in CNO Financial Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 71,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,255,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. raised its position in CNO Financial Group by 0.9% in the second quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. now owns 22,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $395,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Miles Capital Inc. raised its position in CNO Financial Group by 1.5% in the second quarter. Miles Capital Inc. now owns 13,887 shares of the company’s stock valued at $242,000 after buying an additional 201 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its position in CNO Financial Group by 1.4% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 42,285 shares of the company’s stock valued at $738,000 after buying an additional 579 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its position in CNO Financial Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 291,613 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,092,000 after buying an additional 775 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.63% of the company’s stock.

CNO Financial Group Company Profile

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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