Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Cigna’s pending merger with Anthem is facing friction with the regulators and the company is now engaged in a legal tussle of the same. The deal, which would have helped the company to gain the leading position in the industry, now remains uncertain. Forex volatility, share buyback suspension, merger-related charges will drain the bottom line going forward. An underperforming Disability and life business also raises concerns. Also restriction imposed by the CMS on the sale of Medicare Advantage plan is a headwind. Nonetheless, the company is poised for long-term growth from its superior performing Global Supplemental business, growing Government business and increasing membership. A strong capital position is another positive. The company's third quarter Zacks Consensus earning estimate is pegged at $1.90 per share which translates into year over year decline of 16.62%. “

Several other research firms have also issued reports on CI. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded Cigna Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $170.00 to $165.00 in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Cigna Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Cigna Corp. in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued a “hold” rating and a $134.00 price objective on the stock. Leerink Swann restated a “buy” rating and issued a $155.00 price objective on shares of Cigna Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 26th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $149.00 price objective on shares of Cigna Corp. in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $157.65.

Analyst Recommendations for Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI)

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Shares of Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) opened at 127.23 on Tuesday. Cigna Corp. has a 12 month low of $121.87 and a 12 month high of $148.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $32.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.50 and a beta of 0.43. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $129.53 and its 200-day moving average price is $131.49.

Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $1.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.39 by $0.41. Cigna Corp. had a return on equity of 17.60% and a net margin of 5.16%. The company had revenue of $9.89 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.98 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.55 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Cigna Corp. will post $7.99 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Cigna Corp. news, VP Mary T. Hoeltzel sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.28, for a total value of $66,140.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 4,017 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $531,368.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 1.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Ngam Advisors L.P. increased its stake in shares of Cigna Corp. by 32.4% in the first quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 17,545 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,408,000 after buying an additional 4,291 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Cigna Corp. by 17.2% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 425,424 shares of the company’s stock valued at $58,385,000 after buying an additional 62,444 shares during the period. Howard Hughes Medical Institute purchased a new stake in Cigna Corp. during the first quarter valued at $333,000. Tobam increased its stake in Cigna Corp. by 421.8% in the first quarter. Tobam now owns 384,204 shares of the company’s stock valued at $52,729,000 after buying an additional 310,580 shares during the period. Finally, NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. purchased a new stake in Cigna Corp. during the first quarter valued at $2,987,000. 85.25% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Cigna Corp.

Cigna Corporation (Cigna), together with its subsidiaries, is a health services company. The Company offers medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services. The Company’s segments include Global Health Care, Global Supplemental Benefits, Group Disability and Life, Other Operations and Corporate.

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