Cigna (CI) Outpaces Stock Market…

In the latest trading session, Cigna (CI) closed at $225.89, marking a +1.6% move from the previous day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.62%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.55%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.03%.

Heading into today, shares of the health insurer had gained 5.58% over the past month, outpacing the Finance sector’s loss of 1.19% and the S&P 500’s gain of 0.39% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from Cigna as it approaches its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $4.58, up 30.48% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $44.04 billion, up 5.7% from the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $20.41 per share and revenue of $172.37 billion, which would represent changes of +10.62% and +7.69%, respectively, from the prior year.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for Cigna. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company’s business and profitability.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection remained stagnant. Cigna is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Digging into valuation, Cigna currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 10.89. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 9.44, so we one might conclude that Cigna is trading at a premium comparatively.

Meanwhile, CI’s PEG ratio is currently 0.98. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company’s expected earnings growth rate into account. CI’s industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.08 as of yesterday’s close.

The Insurance – Multi line industry is part of the Finance sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 194, putting it in the bottom 24% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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