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CNO Financial Hits 52-Week High on Dividend Hike, Low Debt - Analyst Blog

On Jun 11, 2015, shares of CNO Financial Group Inc.CNO scaled a new 52-week high of $18.78 on the back of latest developments that include the 17% dividend hike and recapitalization plans.

CNO Financial's one-year return of 11.26% was significantly higher than that of the S&P 500's return of 8.17%. Additionally, the return was much above than that of other industry players like Torchmark Corporation TMK Unum Group UNM and AFLAC Inc. AFL that recorded returns of 6.16%, 4.67% and 0.74%, respectively.

Last month, the company's board of directors hiked its quarterly dividend by 17% to 7 cents per share. The company has a very strong dividend history. Last year, CNO Financial hiked its dividend payout by 100% in its efforts to return more to its shareholders. Such dividend hikes boost investor confidence, thereby helping in stock price appreciation.

Earlier, the company had reported first-quarter earnings that improved year over year on higher sales and recruiting gains from a strong distribution channel. Additionally, new annualized premiums increased, while benefits and expenses decreased, further representing the strong quarter.

Another important metric - the debt-to-capital ratio - showed improvement as of Mar 31, 2015 from year-end 2014. Additionally, last month, the company issued debts with a lower coupon rate to repay earlier debts with higher coupon rate. This is likely to bring down the debt levels of the company and increase financial flexibility. This announcement also raised optimism among investors and contributed to the 52-week high.

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CNO FINL GRP (CNO): Free Stock Analysis Report

AFLAC INC (AFL): Free Stock Analysis Report

TORCHMARK CORP (TMK): Free Stock Analysis Report

UNUM GROUP (UNM): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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