Cigna Corp. logged better-than-expected earnings in its third quarter amid favorable medical and operating costs in the global healthcare segment and customer growth.
Revenue, however, missed Wall Street expectations.
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In response to the latest results, the company raised the low end of its annual forecast for adjusted income from operations to $8.40 to $8.60 a share from a previous range of $8.30 to $8.60 a share.
The Bloomfield, Conn., insurer said it had 14.85 million total medical customers at the end of the quarter, compared with 14.35 million a year earlier and 14.77 million in the previous quarter.
In Cigna's global health-care business, premiums and fees revenue grew 8.3% to $6.62 billion, driven by customer growth in its commercial and government businesses and rate actions.
Overall, Cigna reported earnings of $547 million, or $2.10 a share, up from $534 million, or $2.01 a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, per-share earnings from operations grew to an adjusted $2.28 a share from $2.06 a share a year ago.
Revenue rose 7.2% to $9.4 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast $2.20 a share in earnings on $9.517 billion revenue.
In July, Anthem Inc. agreed to buy Cigna Corp. for $48 billion, capping months of merger frenzy among top U.S. health insurers. The deal combines the second- and fifth-largest health insurers by revenue and would create a company with a huge footprint in commercial insurance, the type of coverage provided to employers and consumers.
The biggest companies are seeking more cost efficiency and scale as the health-care landscape changes because of the Affordable Care Act and other factors.
Write to Ezequiel Minaya at firstname.lastname@example.org
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