CNO Financial Group (CNO) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $28.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 10.54% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “CNO Financial’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The company’s Washington National segment has been boosting the top line. Solid liquidity has supported investment in key initiatives. In addition, it is strategizing to reduce long-term care exposure via run-off of existing non-performing businesses and increasing focus on growth of other potential business lines. Strong capital management supports its long-term growth. However, the company suffers from high level of debt. This has also led to a significant increase in interest expenses that has been putting pressure on the bottom line.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on CNO. Wells Fargo & Co set a $22.00 target price on CNO Financial Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $24.00 target price on shares of CNO Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on CNO Financial Group in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $24.00 target price on the stock. Finally, B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of CNO Financial Group in a research report on Monday, November 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. CNO Financial Group presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $22.75.

CNO Financial Group (NYSE CNO) traded up $0.20 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $25.33. The stock had a trading volume of 992,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 694,800. CNO Financial Group has a 52-week low of $18.53 and a 52-week high of $25.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,280.00, a PE ratio of 9.14, a P/E/G ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.16 and a current ratio of 0.16.

CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by $0.06. CNO Financial Group had a return on equity of 5.88% and a net margin of 11.41%. The firm had revenue of $1.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.37 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that CNO Financial Group will post 1.65 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CNO. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in shares of CNO Financial Group by 9.8% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 6,976 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $146,000 after buying an additional 622 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of CNO Financial Group by 71.3% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 9,252 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 3,852 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of CNO Financial Group during the third quarter valued at $292,000. Paragon Capital Management Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of CNO Financial Group during the third quarter valued at $301,000. Finally, Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of CNO Financial Group during the second quarter valued at $323,000. 95.13% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About CNO Financial Group

CNO Financial Group, Inc is a holding company for a group of insurance companies operating throughout the United States that develops, markets and administers health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products. The Company’s segments include Bankers Life, Washington National and Colonial Penn.

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