Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:CNO) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “CNO Financial’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. However, the company’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.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BTIG Research downgraded 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 target price on CNO Financial Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. Deutsche Bank AG dropped their target price on CNO Financial Group from $19.00 to $18.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley restated a hold rating and issued a $19.00 target price on shares of CNO Financial Group in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. began coverage on CNO Financial Group in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued an outperform rating for the company. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $18.61.

Shares of CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) opened at 18.10 on Tuesday. CNO Financial Group has a 52-week low of $14.30 and a 52-week high of $20.88. The firm has a market cap of $3.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.60 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a 50-day moving average of $16.05 and a 200 day moving average of $16.98.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.08 per share. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.78%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 7th. CNO Financial Group’s payout ratio is currently 22.54%.

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

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in 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 worth $1,628,000 after buying an additional 93,102 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in CNO Financial Group by 2.8% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,196,601 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,443,000 after buying an additional 32,766 shares in the last quarter. UBS Group AG increased its position in CNO Financial Group by 226.3% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 39,318 shares of the company’s stock worth $704,000 after buying an additional 27,269 shares in the last quarter. Paradice Investment Management LLC increased its position in CNO Financial Group by 10.2% in the second quarter. Paradice Investment Management LLC now owns 2,643,886 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,162,000 after buying an additional 245,081 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. increased its position in CNO Financial Group by 288.7% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 51,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $895,000 after buying an additional 38,074 shares in the last quarter. 94.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CNO

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