Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ongoing case of CNO

Conseco Inc. (CNO) is an insurance company which has
a number of susidiaries. I have two policies through
one of those subsidiaries. Both the company and the
companies within it are barely investment grade, but
after descending into the $2-$3 trading range/ and
after--from various sources--I learned more about it,
I began watching it through AOL Finance. Somewhere
along the way from October 1 into November, CNO hit
a low of $1.31 and also during that time/ insiders
were buying shares, especially the CEO. November
20, 2008, a market down day with CNO closing at
$1.78; and November 28, 2008, a market up day with
CNO closing at $3.38/ were two such days. After
the 11/28/2008, the stock moved into a new trading
range above $2.50 and below $3.90, and I believe it
was during that time that CNO shifted to the state
of Pennsylvania a group of policies that had lost
their profitability. Then in December a dividend
hike payable on 01/09/09 to stock holders of record
12/31/08 was announced. Comparatively, that hike
was an appreciable one. Accordingly, CNO closed
at $5.18 on 12/31/08. Friday, January 2, 2009,
was a strong market upday with the DOW closing
above 9000, but CNO closed at $4.71 as there was
no longer a reason for it to go higher. Will see
tomorrow if it falls back into the $2.50-to-$3.90
range. One of the policies I have I bought when
I was yet in Gainesville, Florida. That was in
March of 2005. As of last month Florida made it
known it is considering banning CNO from selling
policies in that state unless the company shows
it has the wherewithal to honor them. And yet in
spite of the bad news, Morningstar and others had
rated CNO a buy, and so it was. Had one purchased
shares at or near $2 after 11/20/08 and sold them
at or near $5 on 12/31/08--and this is only a minor
picture of what can happen, but be aware that risk
is a given when it comes to trading or investing,
and that there are many conditions anyone who is in
the market should attend. Trading and investing
are both a science and an art, and each participant
ought to know his or her comfort zone and do what
is necessary to protect himself or herself from
catastrophic loss.



  1. On Friday 01/09/09 CNO closed at $3.96 mainly due to downgrades which changed its rating from a buy to a hold.
    Regarding Florida, the company decided to engage in talks with that state's insurance comissioners.

  2. Last week I called a stock broker I know and mistakenly told him several times that CON was this company's trading symbol. He, however, found the right one. Having conversed longer than I expected we would, I thanked him for listening, and he said I could call anytime I needed something.

    Today CNO closed at $3.20, which is 4 cents above where it spiked to on the day in November an insider purchased some shares.

  3. Yesterday CNO had a low of $3.07 and closed at $3.41. Today it had a low of $3.19, a high of $3.575, and closed at $3.35. This puts it in the higher of two trading ranges I've mentioned.
    Given the further downgrades, CNO should have trended lower. It didn't. Here are four guesses as to why:
    1. This company plans to shed more unprofitable segments/subsidiaries.
    2. This company is seeking/finding new ways to make money.
    3. This company is being helped by someone.
    4. As improbable as it may seem, this company is a takeover target.

  4. Today CNO had a low of $3.09, a high of $3.61, and closed up .02 at $3.37.

    Two notes:
    1. A dividend of .035 per share payable on 2009-02-06 to stock holders of record on 2009-01-30.
    2. There was something about aquistions of 5% or more of the stock.

  5. CNO tightened and trended higher today with the heaviest volume just before closing. Low was $3.30, high was $3.84, and closing was $3.58/ all of which portends another upside breakout. No special news, but it did garner attention from an important trading site.

  6. Correction: Today's CNO high was $3.64, not $3.84.

  7. Today was bad day on Wall Street, and accordingly it was bad day for CNO. Its high was $3.51 and its low & closing price: $2.74.
    However, the company did make a shareholder rights move that will reduce its taxes.

  8. DJIA closed nearly 300 points up, and CNO had a low of $2.74, and high of $3.34 and closed at $3.32.

  9. DJIA closed over 100 points down.
    CNO: $2.68L / $3.21H / $2.76C

  10. CNO today:
    $2.70O / $2.67L / $2.83H / $2.71C

  11. Although its volume was heavy, and it opened .09 above yesterday's close, it was another flat day for CNO. $2.80 O / $2.64 L / $2.98 H / $2.85 C

  12. for 2009-01-30:

    Market down about 150.

    CNO -- 2.38O / 2.28L / 2.49H / 2.33C

  13. 2.05O / 1.99L / 2.11H / 2.00C

    djia 7956.66

  14. 2.00O / 1.76L / 2.10H / 1.83C

    Ominous, but remember the low on
    November 20, 2008, was $1.78, before
    the unpredictable rise to a high of
    $5.19 on December 31, 2008. Though
    it soon could be, CNO is not yet a sell.
    However, today's volume was very heavy.