Will This Downgrade Negatively Impact CNO Financial Group (CNO) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO) was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at Goldman Sachs (GS) on Thursday.

The firm said it downgraded the holding company's rating based on a valuation call and "significant outperformance and lack of substantial incremental catalysts."

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CNO FINANCIAL GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CNO FINANCIAL GROUP INC (CNO) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 57.78% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CNO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CNO FINANCIAL GROUP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $248.30 million or 18.06% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, CNO FINANCIAL GROUP INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 22.52%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CNO Ratings Report
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