CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO:US), the insurer that counts John Paulson’s hedge fund as its biggest investor, rose the most this year after the company’s chief executive officer said repurchases are attractive.
CNO jumped 6 percent to close at $7.20 in New York, the biggest gain since Dec. 20. The Carmel, Indiana-based insurer advanced 1.6 percent yesterday after analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) added the company to its “conviction buy” list on the prospect of more stock buybacks.
CEO Edward Bonach said yesterday after the market closed that repurchases are a priority for the company, based on the share price. The insurer trades for less than half its book value, a measure of assets minus liabilities.
“We think it’s a screaming buy from the standpoint of our capital deployment,” Bonach said at an investor conference in New York.
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