Stock Analysis

Here's Why I Think CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

NYSE:CNO
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Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. But the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.

If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO). While that doesn't make the shares worth buying at any price, you can't deny that successful capitalism requires profit, eventually. While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, unless its owners have an endless appetite for subsidizing the customer, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else breathe its last breath.

See our latest analysis for CNO Financial Group

How Quickly Is CNO Financial Group Increasing Earnings Per Share?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. Therefore, there are plenty of investors who like to buy shares in companies that are growing EPS. I, for one, am blown away by the fact that CNO Financial Group has grown EPS by 40% per year, over the last three years. While that sort of growth rate isn't sustainable for long, it certainly catches my attention; like a crow with a sparkly stone.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). I note that CNO Financial Group's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. The good news is that CNO Financial Group is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 7.5 percentage points to 17%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

earnings-and-revenue-history
NYSE:CNO Earnings and Revenue History August 4th 2021

You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for CNO Financial Group's future profits.

Are CNO Financial Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

It makes me feel more secure owning shares in a company if insiders also own shares, thusly more closely aligning our interests. As a result, I'm encouraged by the fact that insiders own CNO Financial Group shares worth a considerable sum. Indeed, they hold US$45m worth of its stock. That shows significant buy-in, and may indicate conviction in the business strategy. Even though that's only about 1.5% of the company, it's enough money to indicate alignment between the leaders of the business and ordinary shareholders.

Is CNO Financial Group Worth Keeping An Eye On?

CNO Financial Group's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. That sort of growth is nothing short of eye-catching, and the large investment held by insiders certainly brightens my view of the company. At times fast EPS growth is a sign the business has reached an inflection point; and I do like those. So to my mind CNO Financial Group is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. You still need to take note of risks, for example - CNO Financial Group has 4 warning signs (and 2 which are significant) we think you should know about.

Although CNO Financial Group certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

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Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether CNO Financial Group is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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