Cigna tops profit estimates along with gives an upbeat 2018 forecast

U.S. health insurer Cigna’s fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ expectations on Thursday on higher enrollment along with the company forecast 2018 earnings above Wall Street estimates.

Cigna joined different health insurers, such as UnitedHealth along with Anthem, in reporting a strong quarter along with an upbeat forecast thanks to the recent U.S. tax adjustments.

Cigna’s membership at the end of 2017 totaled 15.9 million, an increase of more than 700,000 customers, driven by strong growth across commercial market units.

The company focuses on large along with medium-sized corporate healthcare along with sells international insurance as well as government-backed Medicare plans.

The results come after Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, along with Berkshire Hathaway said on Tuesday they could join hands to cut health-care costs for employees, weighing on many healthcare stocks.

Cigna said This kind of expects adjusted income of $12.40 to $12.0 per share in 2018, ahead of analysts’ estimate of $12.20, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The insurer expects 2018 revenue to grow 7 percent to 8 percent.

Net income fell to $266 million, or $1.07 per share, inside fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, coming from $382 million, or $1.47 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Cigna earned $1.94 per share, beating analysts’ estimate of $1.89.

Operating revenue increased 6 percent to $10.51 billion, just above analysts’ expectation of $10.31 billion.

Cigna said total commercial medical care ratio came in at 84.3 percent, reflecting strong performance along with effective medical cost management in its employer business.

Medical loss ratio will be the amount an insurer spends on medical claims compared with income coming from premiums.

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