CIGNA (NYSE:CI)‘s stock had its “strong-buy” rating reaffirmed by Zacks Investment Research in a report released on Monday. They currently have a $246.00 price objective on the health services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 15.47% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Cigna’s earnings per share of $3.84 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.3% and increased 36% year over year. Strong performance across the company’s Global Health Care, Global Supplemental Benefits and Group Disability and Life businesses aided earnings. Shares of Cigna have outperformed its industry's growth in a year's time. The company is on track to buy Express Scripts, which should raise its rank in the health insurance industry and lead to long-term growth. The company has received approval for the merger from the Department of Justice. A robust Global Supplemental business, growing Government business, increasing membership, and strong capital position are the other positives. Strong 2018 outlook reflects business strength.  However, increase in leverage, rise in operating expenses and suspension of share buyback are concerns.”

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on CI. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on shares of CIGNA from $220.00 to $230.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Barclays increased their price target on shares of CIGNA from $228.00 to $235.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Citigroup increased their price target on shares of CIGNA from $243.00 to $249.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. SunTrust Banks increased their price target on shares of CIGNA and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 27th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald assumed coverage on shares of CIGNA in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $245.00 price target for the company. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $235.57.

Shares of CIGNA stock opened at $213.05 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $53.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.37, a PEG ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61. CIGNA has a one year low of $163.02 and a one year high of $227.13.

CIGNA (NYSE:CI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The health services provider reported $3.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.45 by $0.39. The company had revenue of $11.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.19 billion. CIGNA had a net margin of 6.15% and a return on equity of 23.31%. CIGNA’s quarterly revenue was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.83 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that CIGNA will post 14.35 earnings per share for the current year.

In other CIGNA news, Director William D. Zollars sold 238 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $193.70, for a total transaction of $46,100.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael W. Triplett sold 2,825 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $214.25, for a total transaction of $605,256.25. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 23,871 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,114,361.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 24,252 shares of company stock valued at $5,164,402 over the last 90 days. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CI. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of CIGNA during the 2nd quarter worth about $102,000. Ancora Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of CIGNA during the 3rd quarter worth about $106,000. Sun Life Financial INC boosted its position in shares of CIGNA by 254.3% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 659 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $112,000 after acquiring an additional 473 shares during the last quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA acquired a new stake in shares of CIGNA in the third quarter worth approximately $116,000. Finally, Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. boosted its position in shares of CIGNA by 3,122.7% in the second quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 709 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 687 shares during the last quarter. 89.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About CIGNA

Cigna Corporation, a health services organization, provides insurance and related products and services in the United States and internationally. It operates through Global Health Care, Global Supplemental Benefits, Group Disability and Life, and Other Operations segments. The Global Health Care segment offers medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and prescription drug benefit plans, as well as health advocacy programs, and other products and services to insured and self-insured customers.

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