In its concerted efforts to enhance shareholder value, the board of directors of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (CNO - Free Report) recently hiked its quarterly dividend by 11%, translating into a payout of 10 cents, up from 9 cents paid in March 2018. However, shares of the company have slid 1.4% in the last couple of trading days.
The annualized dividend of 40 cents yields 2.06%, based on the closing price of $19.94 as of May 11, 2018, better than the industry average of 1.85%. The company’s shareholders of record on Jun 11, 2018 would be rewarded with the increased amount of dividend by Jun 25, 2018.
CNO Financial’s dividend history has been encouraging with the company raising its annual dividend riding on the strength of its operational performance since 2013. The dividend payment has witnessed a five-CAGR of 27.2%.
Based on 167.7 million shares outstanding at the end of the first quarter, the company will have to dish out about $67 million per year.
CNO Financial had paid $15 million in dividend during the first quarter of 2018. The company remains committed to deploy 100% of free cash flow over time.
Shares of CNO Financial have lost 18.9%, comparing unfavorably with the industry’s loss of 6.4%. Nonetheless, we believe the company’s improving top line, strategic initiatives and an effective capital deployment to help rebound its shares.
Stocks to Consider
CNO Financial carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked insurers are Kemper Corporation (KMPR - Free Report) , MetLife, Inc. (MET - Free Report) and RLI Corp (RLI - Free Report) .
Kemper Corporation is a diversified insurance holding company dealing with property and casualty plus life and health insurance to customers in the United States. The company came up with an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 121.61%. The company sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
MetLife, Inc. engages in the insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management businesses in the United States, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa segments. It delivered an average four-quarter positive surprise of 9.96%. The company holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
RLI Corp. underwrites property and casualty insurance in the United States and internationally. The company pulled off an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 33.65%. The company carries a Zacks Rank of 2.
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