StanCorp Financial Group Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of disability insurer StanCorp Financial Group (NYSE: SFG  ) fell 14% today after the company released disappointing earnings.

So what: Total premiums increased less than 1% to $537 million in the quarter, but net income was the biggest concern today. Earnings fell 54% to $18.8 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, and operating earnings of $0.61 fell below the $1.03 analysts expected.

Now what: To add salt to the wound, FBR Capital downgraded StanCorp Financial to market perform, from outperform. Higher group insurance claims were responsible for the miss and management says it is working to "generate long-term sustainable profitability." Despite the discount today, I'm not eager to jump into shares with too much operational uncertainty on the horizon.

Interested in more info on StanCorp Financial? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

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