NU Online News Service, Feb. 21, 1:56 p.m. – Conseco Inc., Carmel, Ind., is reporting a $57 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2001 on $2 billion in revenue, compared with a $377 million net loss on $2.2 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2000.

Net results for the latest quarter include $92 million in investment losses, expenses related to securities litigation, and other charges and gains. Operating income, which excludes those charges and gains, fell to $34 million, from $41 million, Conseco says.

Conseco has a life and health insurance operation and a consumer finance operation.

The insurance operations are reporting $200 million in operating earnings for the fourth quarter on $1.3 billion in premium revenue, compared with $227 million in operating earnings on $1.3 billion in premium revenue for the fourth quarter of 2000.

Premium revenue increased 27%, to $284 million, for fixed annuities; 15%, to $237 million, for life insurance; and 10%, to $227 million, for long-term care insurance.

Revenue for variable and equity-indexed annuities fell 31%, to $187 million, Conseco says.

The consumer finance operation is reporting operating earnings of $27 million for the fourth quarter, down from $53 million in operating earnings.

Conseco needs at least $300 million in additional cash to meet its debt reduction goals this year, and it is in the process of raising more than $750 million, to give itself room for error or additional cash to pay debt due in 2003, according to a memo from Gary Wendt, the company’s chief executive.