Cigna Corp. CI will release first-quarter 2020 results on Apr 30, before market open.
In the last reported quarter, Cigna’s earnings of $4.31 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.86%, led by the accretive Express Scripts acquisition.
Factors at Play
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s earnings per share is pegged at $4.42, indicating an increase of 13.33% from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for revenues stands at $37.24 billion, suggesting an 11.4% rise from the year-ago reported figure.
Cigna’s Integrated Medical segment is likely to have driven revenues on customer growth, strong customer relationships, rise in premiums reflecting underlying cost trends and the inclusion of Express Scripts and Medicare Part D business. The segment is likely to have seen an increase in global medical customers, backed by growth in select and middle-market segments.
In the company’s Health Services segment, earnings are likely to have benefited from organic growth owing to pharmacy customer additions, strong volumes of adjusted pharmacy scripts fulfilled and a steady improvement in specialty pharmacy.
The company’s International activity is expected to have grown on brisk business and solid margins, partially offset by an adverse foreign currency impact. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the segment’s revenues stands at $1.46 billion, implying 2.9% growth from the year-ago reported figure. Medical customers for the segment are expected to total 1.6 million, up 17,000 members from the last reported quarter per the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Medical membership is likely to have strengthened on the back of higher membership in Select and Middle Market segments, partially offset by a decline in National Accounts and U.S. Individual. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for total medical customers is pegged at 17.3 million, indicating growth of 17.1 million from the sequential quarter’s reported figure.
Pharmacy customer base is likely to have broadened on robust new commercial sales.
Cigna’s debt levels are likely to have declined in the first quarter as it prioritizes repayment of debt that was incurred to fund the purchase of Express Scripts. Share repurchases made by the company during the to-be-reported quarter are likely to have aided its bottom line.
Earnings Surprise Record
The company boasts a stellar earnings surprise history, having surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 6.58%. This is depicted in the graph below:
Cigna Corporation Price and EPS Surprise
Cigna Corporation price-eps-surprise | Cigna Corporation Quote
What Our Model Says
Our proven model predicts an earnings beat for Cigna this season. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of a positive surprise.
Earnings ESP: Cigna has an Earnings ESP of +1.53%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
Zacks Rank: Currently, Cigna carries a Zacks Rank #3.
Stocks Worth a Look
Here are a few healthcare stocks worth considering as these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings in the upcoming quarterly results.
Humana Inc. HUM has an Earnings ESP of +11.37% and is Zacks #3 Ranked. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Anthem Inc. ANTM has an Earnings ESP of +1.28% and a Zacks Rank of 3.
Molina Healthcare, Inc. MOH has an Earnings ESP of +9.38% and is Zacks #2 Ranked.
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