CIGNA (CI) Shares Gap Up Following Better-Than-Expected Earnings

CIGNA Co. (NYSE:CI) shares gapped up prior to trading on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $208.61, but opened at $213.81. CIGNA shares last traded at $216.28, with a volume of 3885610 shares.

The health services provider reported $3.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.45 by $0.39. CIGNA had a return on equity of 22.27% and a net margin of 5.82%. The firm had revenue of $11.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.19 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.83 EPS. CIGNA’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis.

Several research firms recently commented on CI. Citigroup boosted their target price on CIGNA from $243.00 to $249.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. BMO Capital Markets set a $230.00 target price on CIGNA and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. Barclays boosted their target price on CIGNA from $228.00 to $235.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday. Zacks Investment Research raised CIGNA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $212.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald began coverage on CIGNA in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $245.00 target price for the company. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. CIGNA presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $232.27.

In other CIGNA news, Director William D. Zollars sold 238 shares of CIGNA stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $193.70, for a total transaction of $46,100.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of CIGNA in the 2nd quarter valued at about $102,000. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its holdings in shares of CIGNA by 254.3% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 659 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after purchasing an additional 473 shares during the last quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA purchased a new stake in shares of CIGNA in the 3rd quarter valued at about $116,000. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of CIGNA by 3,122.7% in the 2nd quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 709 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 687 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of CIGNA by 98.7% in the 2nd quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 785 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $133,000 after purchasing an additional 390 shares during the last quarter. 89.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 0.38 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35. The firm has a market cap of $51.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.38, a PEG ratio of 1.24 and a beta of 0.64.

About CIGNA (NYSE:CI)

Cigna Corporation, a health services organization, provides insurance and related products and services in the United States and internationally. It operates through Global Health Care, Global Supplemental Benefits, Group Disability and Life, and Other Operations segments. The Global Health Care segment offers medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and prescription drug benefit plans, as well as health advocacy programs, and other products and services to insured and self-insured customers.

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