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 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 issued reports about the stock. 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. 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. BTIG Research lowered shares of CNO Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered shares of CNO Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $21.00 to $17.00 in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on shares of CNO Financial Group in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $18.61.

Analyst Recommendations for CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO)

Shares of CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) opened at 17.79 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $16.27 and its 200 day moving average is $16.94. CNO Financial Group has a 1-year low of $14.30 and a 1-year high of $20.88. The firm has a market cap of $3.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.39 and a beta of 1.19.

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

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In other CNO Financial Group news, EVP Susan L. Menzel sold 79,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.50, for a total value of $1,391,250.00. Following the completion of 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 2.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CNO. Seven Eight Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of CNO Financial Group during the first quarter worth $102,000. Cantab Capital Partners LLP bought a new position in shares of CNO Financial Group during the second quarter worth $146,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of CNO Financial Group by 5.0% in the third quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,280 shares of the company’s stock worth $172,000 after buying an additional 540 shares in the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc bought a new position in shares of CNO Financial Group during the second quarter worth $175,000. Finally, Princeton Alpha Management LP bought a new position in shares of CNO Financial Group during the third quarter worth $178,000. 96.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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