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Cigna (CI) Beats on Q1 Earnings & Revenues, Revises View

Cigna Corp. CI reported first-quarter 2016 operating net earnings of $2.32 per share that comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.17 by 6.9%. Also, earnings rose 18.4% year over year. The improvement was backed by revenue growth as well as favorable medical and operating costs in the Global Health Care segment in the reported quarter.

Cigna reported revenues of $9.9 billion, up 5.6% year over year.  The top line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 9.6 billion by 3.6%. Higher contribution from its segments, namely Global Health Care, Global Supplemental Benefits and Group Disability and Life, drove the upside.

Cigna's global medical customers were 15.1 million, up 3.2% from 14.7 million members in the year-ago quarter. The improvement was driven by organic growth in Middle Market, Medicare Advantage and Select segments.

Premiums of $7.7 billion increased 4.6% year over year. All the segments of the company registered premium growth.

Quarterly Review by Segment
 
Premiums and fees from the Global Health Care segment increased 4.9% year over year to $7.1 billion. Customer growth, particularly in the Medicare Advantage business, specialty contributions, and rate actions in the company’s Commercial employer group business drove the upside. However, the increase was partially offset by the expected reductions in Medicare Part D and Individual customers. Operating earnings were $544 million, up 22.5% year over year due to strong contributions from Commercial employer, Government and specialty businesses.
 
Premiums and fees from Cigna's Global Supplemental Benefits climbed 5.0% year over year to $772 million on the back of strong new sales in the company’s target markets. Operating income declined 2.9% year over year to $67 million. The decline in operating earnings reflect favorable claims experience in Korea and business growth. Also, the unfavorable impact of foreign currency movements and increases in strategic investments to advance the company’s capabilities hurt the operating earnings in the quarter.

The Global Disability and Life segment’s premiums and fees also increased 5.2% year over year to $1.0 billion, primarily driven by consistent strong persistency and new sales. However, operating earnings plunged 70.6% year over year to $15 million due to decline in income from the company’s Disability business.

Financial Update

Cash and marketable securities were $2.0 billion at Mar 31, 2016, up 42.9% from $1.4 billion at Dec 31, 2015.
 
Shareholders’ equity increased 15.8% year over year to $12.7 billion as of Mar 31, 2016.

2016 Guidance

For 2016, Cigna expects income from operations in the high single-digit range and earnings per share of $8.95–$9.35. The company projects mid-single-digit growth in revenues, while the number of global medical customers are projected to grow in low single digits.

Zacks Rank and Performance of Other Multi Line Insurers
 
Currently, Cigna carries a Zacks Rank # 4 (Sell). Among other multi line insurers that have reported their first-quarter earnings so far, the bottom line at Assurant, Inc. AIZ and Radian Group Inc. RDN beat their respective Zack Consensus Estimate, while MGIC Investment Corp. MTG missed the same.

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RADIAN GRP INC (RDN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ASSURANT INC (AIZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CIGNA CORP (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MGIC INVSTMT CP (MTG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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