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Conseco Shares Slip on Junk Bond Report

February 08, 2001|Reuters

Shares of struggling insurance firm Conseco Inc. fell nearly 6% on Wednesday after Fortune magazine wrote that billionaire investor Warren Buffett, contrary to earlier reports, did not buy any of the firm's junk bonds.

The Fortune story contradicts a Dec. 29 Wall Street Journal story that said Buffett had bought "several hundred million dollars" of Carmel, Ind.-based Conseco's debt. The Journal story helped trigger a 15% surge in the company's shares.

"The Fortune report was accurate, and the Journal report wasn't," Debbie Bosanek, a spokeswoman for Buffett, said Wednesday.

No spokesmen for Conseco or the Wall Street Journal were immediately available for comment.

Fortune's story reported, as did the Journal, that Buffett did buy junk bonds of another finance company, Finova Group.

Conseco shares (ticker symbol: CNC) slid 90 cents, or 5.7%, to $14.79 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has pulled back in recent days after rising in January amid a broad rally in beaten-down shares and in junk bonds.

Conseco is trying to turn itself around after overpaying in 1998 for loan company Green Tree Financial Corp.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Not So Fast

Shares of troubled insurer Conseco fell Wednesday

on news that billionaire investor Warren Buffett did not buy the company's junk bonds late last year, contradicting a Dec. 29 report in the Wall Street Journal.

*

Conseco shares, weekly closes and latest on the NYSE

Wednesday: $14.79, down 90 cents

Source: Bloomberg News

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