Cigna Corp First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 3, 2012. Cigna’s subsidiaries provide health care and related benefits, including health care products and services, group disability, life, and accident insurance.

Cigna Corporation Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of $1.28 per share, a decline of 6.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.39. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.28 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 4% versus last year to $5.42.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to break the streak of missing estimates in the past two quarters. Last quarter, it fell short of analyst expectations by reporting net income of $1.11 per share against an estimate of profit of $1.18 per share. The quarter before that, it missed forecasts by 2 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 24.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $6.71 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock, with 10 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and six rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit fell 37.1% to $290 million ($1.04 a share) from $461 million ($1.69 a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 0.6% to $5.46 billion from $5.43 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 4% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 2.9% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 6.6% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

An income boost this time around would be welcome news after profit declines in the past two quarters. Net income dropped 34.9% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and then again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between March 1, 2012 and April 27, 2012, the stock price had risen $2.37 (5.3%), from $44.50 to $46.87. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 12, 2012 and March 19, 2012, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 5.2% (+$2.34) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 22, 2011 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 9.9% (-$4.63) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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