Well being insurer Cigna raises 2021 revenue forecast on robust first quarter By Reuters

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© Reuters. A display screen shows the emblem fro Cigna Corp. on the ground on the New York Inventory Trade (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) -Cigna Corp on Friday raised its full-year revenue and income targets after first-quarter revenue topped estimates, betting on its newly rebranded well being providers unit to assist drive development amid COVID-19-related uncertainty.

Cigna (NYSE:)’s rivals UnitedHealth (NYSE:) and Anthem Inc final month raised their adjusted revenue targets for the yr, signaling confidence of their enterprise regardless of continued uncertainty associated to the pandemic.

Well being insurers have been going through a number of challenges as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, together with direct prices associated to testing, therapy and vaccinations in addition to larger disenrollment of their employer-sponsored plans as a result of pandemic’s financial impression.

Nonetheless, Cigna’s well being providers unit, which was rebranded final September to Evernorth, has proven resilient development in the previous few quarters.

The unit, comprising the pharmacy advantages administration enterprise Cigna acquired by the 2018 buyout of Categorical Scripts (NASDAQ:), helped Cigna beat first-quarter revenue estimates because it posted almost 13% development in adjusted income from a yr earlier.

Cigna additionally reported lower-than-expected medical prices within the quarter regardless of larger prices associated to COVID-19 testing, therapy and vaccines.

The corporate’s medical-care ratio, the quantity spent on medical claims versus the earnings from premiums, worsened to 81.8% within the quarter from 78.3% a yr earlier.

5 analysts polled by Refinitiv had pegged the medical-care ratio at 82.8%.

Cigna reiterated that it anticipates a unfavorable earnings impression of about $1.25 per share this yr from COVID-19.

Excluding objects, it earned $4.73 per share within the first-quarter, beating analysts’ common estimate of $4.38, in keeping with IBES knowledge from Refinitiv.

Cigna stated it now expects adjusted earnings from operations of at the least $20.20 per share for 2021, up from its earlier forecast of $20 per share, and adjusted income of at the least $166 billion, up from at the least $165 billion forecast earlier.

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