The Cigna Corp. (CI) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

The Cigna Corp. (CI) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Cigna’s pending merger with Anthem is facing friction with the regulators and the company is now engaged in a legal tussle of the same. The deal, which would have helped the company to gain the leading position in the industry, now remains uncertain. Forex volatility, share buyback suspension, merger-related charges will drain the bottom line going forward. An underperforming Disability and life business also raises concerns. Also restriction imposed by the CMS on the sale of Medicare Advantage plan is a headwind. The company's stock has underperformed relative to the Zacks categorised Insurance Multiline industry. Nonetheless, the company is poised for long-term growth from its superior performing Global Supplemental business, growing Government business and increasing membership. A strong capital position is another positive. “

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $149.00 target price (down previously from $153.00) on shares of Cigna Corp. in a research note on Monday, November 7th. Leerink Swann restated a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price target on shares of Cigna Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 26th. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on Cigna Corp. in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. They set a “hold” rating and a $134.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. initiated coverage on Cigna Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, January 4th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $170.00 price target on the stock. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Cigna Corp. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $158.08.

Shares of Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) opened at 141.97 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $36.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.29 and a beta of 0.54. Cigna Corp. has a 12-month low of $115.03 and a 12-month high of $148.99. The company has a 50-day moving average of $137.72 and a 200 day moving average of $131.55.

Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $1.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.91 by $0.03. Cigna Corp. had a return on equity of 16.17% and a net margin of 4.87%. The company had revenue of $9.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.37 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.28 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Cigna Corp. will post $7.99 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, EVP John M. Murabito sold 58,822 shares of Cigna Corp. stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $125.09, for a total transaction of $7,358,043.98. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 115,109 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,398,984.81. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Jason D. Sadler sold 2,000 shares of Cigna Corp. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $138.10, for a total value of $276,200.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 32,019 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,421,823.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Cigna Corp. by 166.7% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 800 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. Live Your Vision LLC purchased a new stake in Cigna Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $113,000. Invictus RG increased its stake in Cigna Corp. by 1,056.8% in the second quarter. Invictus RG now owns 1,018 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 930 shares during the period. SRB Corp increased its stake in Cigna Corp. by 5.8% in the third quarter. SRB Corp now owns 1,181 shares of the company’s stock worth $154,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the period. Finally, NEXT Financial Group Inc purchased a new stake in Cigna Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $168,000. 84.56% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Cigna Corp. 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, Other Operations and Corporate.

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