CNO Financial Group, Inc.’s (CNO - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 61 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 48.8%. The bottom line also improved 74.3% year over year on the back of higher revenues.
Including the one-time unfavorable impact of the Tax Reform Act, the company reported net loss of 42 cents per share in the fourth quarter against net income of $1.34 in the year-ago quarter.
CNO Financial’s total revenues increased 8.4% year over year to $1,090 million in the fourth quarter.
Excluding the one-time unfavorable impacts of the Tax Reform Act, the company reported adjusted earnings of $2.02 per share for 2017, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.65.
The company’s total revenues came in at $4.3 billion for 2017, improving 7.8% year over year.
Quarterly Operational Update
Total collected premiums were $940.9 million, down 1% from the prior-year quarter.
New annualized premiums for life and health products amounted to $85.4 million, down 5% from the year-ago period.
First-year collected premiums totaled $357.3 million, down 5% from the year-earlier quarter.
Quarterly Segment Update
Total collected premiums were $696.3million, down 2% year over year.
New annualized premiums for life and health products decreased 9% year over year to $43.5 million.
Pretax operating earnings of $109.7 milliondeclined 21% from the comparable quarter last year.
Total collected premiums of $168.6 were up 2% year over year.
New Annualized premiums from life and health products were $27.1 million, up slightly from the year-ago quarter.
Pretax operating earnings were down 21% year over year.
Total collected premiums were $72 million, up 3% year over year.
New annualized premiums were $14.8 million, up slightly from the year-ago quarter.
The pretax operating earnings were $5.9 million, up from $4.6 million a year ago.
Long-Term Care in Run-off
Total collected premiums were $4 million, down from $4.7 million a year ago.
The long-term care business was recaptured in September 2016 with the segment having recognized pretax earnings of $0.6 million in the reported quarter versus$3.9 million loss in the same period last year.
The company expects this segment to report normalized earnings before net realized investment gains (losses) of approximately breakeven over the long term.
The segment includes performance of the investment advisory subsidiary and corporate expenses.
Pretax loss of $3.3 million in the quarter under review was narrower than the loss of $23 million in the year-ago quarter, primarily owing to favorable investment returns and lower expenses.
CNO Financial Group, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Unrestricted cash and investments held by CNO Financial’sholding company were $397 million as of Dec 31, 2017, up 5% from the year-end 2016.
Book value per common share increased to $29.05, up from $25.82 at the end of 2016. The metric excluding accumulated other comprehensive income, increased to $21.43, down from $22.02 as of Dec 31, 2016.
Debt-to-capital ratio was 15.9% as of Dec 31, 2017 compared with 16.9% at the end of 2016.
Securities Repurchase and Divided Update
During the quarter, the company repurchased $27 million of common stock.
During 2017, it bought back shares worth of $167.1 million.
As of Dec 31, 2017, the company had 166.9 million shares outstanding with an authority to buy back up to $385.6 million of additional common stock.
During the fourth quarter, dividends paid on common stock totaled $15.1 million.
Zacks Rank and Performance of Other Multiline Insurers
CNO Financial carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Among other players from the insurance industry having reported fourth-quarter earnings, the bottom line of Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO - Free Report) , MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG - Free Report) and The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.
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