Cigna Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, February 2, 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 estimate of analysts is for net income of $1.18 per share, a rise of 2.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.19. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has since dropped over the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $5.29 per share, a rise of 14% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company missed estimates last quarter after beating forecasts in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported net income of $1.20 per share versus a mean estimate of profit of $1.22 per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by 24 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $5.51 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 1.5% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $21.87 billion for the year, a rise of 2.9% from last year’s revenue of $21.25 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 10 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and seven rating it as a hold. Over the past 90 days, the average rating for the stock has moved up from hold to moderate buy.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 34.9% to $200 million (74 cents a share) from $307 million ($1.13 a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 6.6% to $5.61 billion from $5.27 billion.

Key Stats:

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 38.8% in the second quarter, 51.6% in the first quarter and 39.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 2.9% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 4% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 17.1% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT), Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM), HealthSpring, Inc (NYSE:HS), Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH), Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), and WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG).

Stock Price Performance: During November 29, 2011 to January 27, 2012, the stock price had risen $3.12 (7.4%) from $42.06 to $45.18. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 18, 2011 and April 28, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 8.9% (+$3.83) 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, falling 9.9% (-$4.63) over that span.

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

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