Cigna (NYSE:CI) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Cigna (NYSE:CIGet Rating) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $274.00 price objective on the health services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 2.58% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Cigna’s revenues have been increasing consistently for the past several years, driven by acquisitions, superior operating performance and, high-quality products and services portfolio. Its 2018 buyout of Express Scripts diversified its business by adding pharmacy benefits to the insurance operations. Business streamlining by divesting Group Life and Disability insurance business will help it focus on core growth areas. An expected increase in medical membership bodes well. In 2021, the company deployed over $9 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends. For 2022, the company expects adjusted income from operations to be at least $22.40 per share. Its shares have outperformed the industry year to date. However, high leverage is a concern for Cigna, affecting financial flexibility. Rising operating costs might dent its margins.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut shares of Cigna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price target for the stock from $271.00 to $236.00 in a research report on Friday, February 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut shares of Cigna from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $270.00 to $248.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 21st. Royal Bank of Canada cut shares of Cigna from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $304.00 to $235.00 in a report on Monday, February 7th. Wells Fargo & Company raised shares of Cigna from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their target price for the company from $236.00 to $278.00 in a report on Thursday, January 6th. Finally, StockNews.com started coverage on shares of Cigna in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “strong-buy” rating on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Cigna presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $261.35.

NYSE:CI traded up $6.09 on Wednesday, hitting $267.12. 22,361 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,681,756. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $239.84 and a 200-day moving average price of $226.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.70. Cigna has a 52 week low of $191.74 and a 52 week high of $272.81. The company has a market cap of $85.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 0.86.

Cigna (NYSE:CIGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 3rd. The health services provider reported $4.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $4.68 by $0.09. Cigna had a net margin of 3.08% and a return on equity of 14.59%. The firm had revenue of $45.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $43.98 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $3.51 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that Cigna will post 22.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO David Cordani sold 10,069 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $228.70, for a total transaction of $2,302,780.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Jason D. Sadler sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $250.00, for a total transaction of $1,250,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 31,749 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,937,250. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 24,751 shares of company stock worth $5,964,393. Company insiders own 0.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC lifted its stake in Cigna by 1.2% in the 4th quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 3,593 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $809,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares during the last quarter. Kings Point Capital Management lifted its stake in Cigna by 19.0% in the 3rd quarter. Kings Point Capital Management now owns 295 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $59,000 after purchasing an additional 47 shares during the last quarter. Glassman Wealth Services lifted its stake in Cigna by 7.0% in the 4th quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 717 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $165,000 after purchasing an additional 47 shares during the last quarter. Leuthold Group LLC lifted its stake in Cigna by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. Leuthold Group LLC now owns 15,585 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $3,119,000 after purchasing an additional 49 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dynamic Advisor Solutions LLC raised its stake in shares of Cigna by 2.1% during the fourth quarter. Dynamic Advisor Solutions LLC now owns 2,329 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $535,000 after acquiring an additional 49 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.39% of the company’s stock.

About Cigna (Get Rating)

Cigna Corporation provides insurance and related products and services in the United States. Its Evernorth segment provides a range of coordinated and point solution health services, including pharmacy, benefits management, care delivery and management, and intelligence solutions to health plans, employers, government organizations, and health care providers.

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