Health Insurer Cigna Profit Beats Estimates


Cigna reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as the health insurer saw customer growth in its commercial business.

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, handing Republican President Donald Trump a victory that could prove short-lived as the healthcare legislation heads for a likely battle in the Senate.

The company's net income rose to $598 million, or $2.30 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $519 million, or $2.00 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Cigna earned $2.77 per share, well above the analysts' average estimate of $2.45, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Medical customers totaled 15.7 million at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 537,000, driven by organic growth in Cigna's commercial unit.

Consolidated operating revenue rose 5 percent to $10.34 billion, ahead of estimates of about $10.10 billion.

(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)