On Apr 5, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
CNO Financial Group Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
CNO Financial has delivered positive earnings surprises in the
last 4 quarters with an average beat of 17.58%. Moreover, the
Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter for 2013 stands at
20 cents per share, up 36% year over year. This multi-line
insurance company is expected to declare its first-quarter
earnings after the closing bell on Apr 24.
The company follows an efficient capital deployment policy. On
Mar 28, CNO Financial announced that it completed a tender offer
to repurchase $59.3 million 7% convertible senior debentures at a
premium price of $125.9 million. The company expects to
repurchase another $125-$175 million in 2013, taking the total
securities buyback during the year to $250-$350 million. Improved
credit ratings, strong investment portfolio and improved debt
maturity profile are the other positives.
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 over the past 60 days, leading
to a 6.2% increase in the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Even the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 increased 7.2% over
the past 60 days to $1.19. This represents a year-over-year
increase of 15.79%.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks in the insurance sector that are worth a look are
) - Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
) - Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and
) - Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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