CNO Financial Group (CNO) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “CNO Financial’s growing top line is impressive. Growth initatives undertaken by the company have led an increase in agent productivity and improved overall operations.  Its strong capital position enables discplined capital deployment. The shares have, however, underperformed the industry year to date. High level of debt attributing to significant increase in interest expenses has been putting pressure on the bottom line. In addition, the company is strategizing to reduce a long-term care exposure via run-off of existing non-performing businesses and increasing focus on growth of other potential business lines.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on CNO. Wells Fargo & Co set a $23.00 price objective on CNO Financial Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. William Blair began coverage on CNO Financial Group in a research note on Monday, March 12th. They set an outperform rating on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded CNO Financial Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Morgan Stanley upgraded CNO Financial Group from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, May 17th. Finally, B. Riley decreased their price target on CNO Financial Group from $27.00 to $25.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. CNO Financial Group has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $24.17.

Shares of CNO Financial Group stock opened at $19.42 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.96 and a beta of 1.11. CNO Financial Group has a fifty-two week low of $19.25 and a fifty-two week high of $26.47. The company has a quick ratio of 0.15, a current ratio of 0.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55.

CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.44. The company had revenue of $1.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.01 billion. CNO Financial Group had a return on equity of 6.92% and a net margin of 4.67%. equities research analysts predict that CNO Financial Group will post 2.02 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 25th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 11th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.06%. This is a boost from CNO Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.09. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 8th. CNO Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio is 19.80%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale acquired a new position in CNO Financial Group during the first quarter worth $171,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of CNO Financial Group in the first quarter valued at $196,000. Quantbot Technologies LP raised its stake in shares of CNO Financial Group by 94.1% in the first quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 10,669 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $231,000 after acquiring an additional 5,171 shares in the last quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC acquired a new stake in shares of CNO Financial Group in the first quarter valued at $239,000. Finally, Element Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of CNO Financial Group in the first quarter valued at $259,000. Institutional investors own 94.47% 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.

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