Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:CNO) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.
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.”
Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on CNO. Deutsche Bank AG set a $16.00 target price on CNO Financial Group and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, September 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods dropped their target price on CNO Financial Group from $20.00 to $19.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley reiterated a hold rating and set a $19.00 target price on shares of CNO Financial Group in a report on Thursday, July 28th. BTIG Research downgraded CNO Financial Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, September 30th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on CNO Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. They set an outperform rating for the company. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $18.61.
Shares of CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) opened at 18.00 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $16.13 and its 200 day moving average price is $16.99. The stock has a market cap of $3.12 billion, a PE ratio of 12.53 and a beta of 1.19. CNO Financial Group has a 1-year low of $14.30 and a 1-year high of $20.88.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 23rd. Shareholders 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.78%. CNO Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 22.54%.
In other news, EVP Susan L. Menzel sold 79,500 shares of CNO Financial Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 15th. The stock was 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 owns 1,960 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,300. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Seven Eight Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of CNO Financial Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Cantab Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in shares of CNO Financial Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $146,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised 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 valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 540 shares during the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc purchased a new position in shares of CNO Financial Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $175,000. Finally, Princeton Alpha Management LP purchased a new position in shares of CNO Financial Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $178,000. Institutional investors own 94.59% 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.