On Mar 21, Zacks Investment Research upgraded CNO
Financial Group Inc. ( CNO ) to a Zacks Rank
#1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
CNO Financial has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on
the back of strong fourth-quarter 2012 results. Moreover, this
multi-line insurance company delivered positive earnings surprises
in the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 17.58%.
On Feb 11, CNO Financial reported fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted
operating earnings of 25 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 23 cents. Results also surpassed 18 cents
earned in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating income in the
quarter was $60.0 million, up 18% from $51.0 million in the fourth
quarter of 2011.
Apart from improved operating performance of most segments,
better-than-expected call and prepayment income and favorable
mortality in the universal life and traditional life businesses
drove operating earnings.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CNO Financial's operating
earnings in 2013 stands at $1.03 per share, up 48.7% over 2012.
Most estimates were revised upward following the announcement of
the strong fourth-quarter earnings, leading to a 6% increase in the
Zacks Consensus Estimate over the past 60 days.
Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 surged 7.2% over
the past 60 days. It currently stands at $1.19%, up 15.79% year
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks in the insurance sector that are worth a look are
AEGON N.V. ( AEG ) - Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy), AXA Group ( AXAHY ) - Zacks Rank
#1 (Strong Buy) and Assured Guaranty Ltd. ( AGO ) - Zacks Rank #2
(Buy).AEGON N V (AEG): Free Stock Analysis ReportASSURED GUARNTY (AGO): Free Stock Analysis
ReportAXA SA -SP ADR (AXAHY): Free Stock Analysis
ReportCNO FINL GRP (CNO): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.