CNO Extends Gain on ‘Screaming Buy’ Call from CEO Bonach

CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO), 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) 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zachary Tracer in New York at Ztracer1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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