CIGNA Co. (CI) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

CIGNA Co. (NYSE:CI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, April 18th.

According to Zacks, “Cigna is engaged in a legal tussle with Anthem and thus, the termination fee of $1.85 billion that it was to receive from the later remains uncertain. Also, restriction imposed by the CMS on the sale of Medicare Advantage plan, which is expected to cause membership attrition in 2017, is a headwind. Despite these the company's stock has outperformed the Zacks categorised Insurance Multiline industry. Nonetheless, the company is poised for long-term growth owing to its robust Global Supplemental business, growing Government business and increasing membership. A strong capital position and resumption of share buyback are other positives. Cigna expects 2017 growth for adjusted income from operations in the range of 12–18%. It has also witnessesd an increase in Zacks Consensus earnings estimate for 2017 over the past 60 days.”

CI has been the topic of several other research reports. Piper Jaffray Companies initiated coverage on shares of CIGNA in a research report on Wednesday, January 4th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $170.00 price target on the stock. Citigroup Inc boosted their price target on shares of CIGNA from $139.00 to $163.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of CIGNA in a report on Friday, February 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $151.00 target price on shares of CIGNA in a report on Friday, February 3rd. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $164.00 target price (up previously from $158.00) on shares of CIGNA in a report on Monday, February 6th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $167.57.

Analyst Recommendations for CIGNA (NYSE:CI)

Shares of CIGNA (NYSE:CI) traded up 0.09% on Tuesday, hitting $160.25. The stock had a trading volume of 781,525 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $41.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.40 and a beta of 0.53. CIGNA has a 12-month low of $115.03 and a 12-month high of $164.88. The company has a 50 day moving average of $155.52 and a 200-day moving average of $145.25.

CIGNA (NYSE:CI) last released its earnings results on Friday, May 5th. The health services provider reported $2.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.44 by $0.33. The firm had revenue of $10.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.11 billion. CIGNA had a net margin of 4.71% and a return on equity of 15.77%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.46 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that CIGNA will post $9.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, CEO David Cordani sold 43,637 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.78, for a total transaction of $6,448,675.86. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 306,194 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,249,349.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Matthew G. Manders sold 8,309 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $146.54, for a total transaction of $1,217,600.86. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 39,799 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,832,145.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 61,223 shares of company stock valued at $9,055,001. 1.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. American Beacon Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in CIGNA during the first quarter worth about $102,000. Live Your Vision LLC acquired a new position in CIGNA during the third quarter worth about $113,000. Baystate Wealth Management LLC increased its position in CIGNA by 436.1% in the first quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 772 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 628 shares during the last quarter. Founders Capital Management acquired a new position in CIGNA during the first quarter worth about $117,000. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware acquired a new position in CIGNA during the first quarter worth about $122,000. 85.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

CIGNA Company Profile

Cigna Corporation (Cigna), together with its subsidiaries, is a health services company. The Company offers medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services. The Company’s segments include Global Health Care, Global Supplemental Benefits, Group Disability and Life, and Other Operations and Corporate.

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