Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) stock jumped 3.08% on Friday to $280.10 against a previous-day closing price of $271.74. With 3.65 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 1.91 million shares. During the session, the Healthcare Plans company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $284.46 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $279.26. The 52-week range on CI shows that it touched its highest point at $282.33 and its lowest point at $191.74 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $294.50. With its current market cap of 88.67 billion, CI has annualized dividend of $4.48 while the current yield stands at 1.60%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.73.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of CI was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 2.52%, but this was up by 3.32% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 9.56% while six-month performance rose 21.77%. The stock gained 21.00% in the past year, while it has gained 21.98% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for CI yields 16.12 with Next year EPS estimates of 25.24. For the next quarter, that number is 5.48. This implies an EPS growth rate of -31.50% for this year and 11.06% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 11.45% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 17.00%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 318.49 million CI shares are outstanding with a float of 312.44 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 7.89 million, which was 2.49% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. David Michael Cordani as the firm’s Pres, CEO & Chair of the Board, Mr. Brian C. Evanko serves as its Exec. VP & CFO.
Through their ownership of 90.96% of CI’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 54.45% of CI, in contrast to 36.49% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 1.76%. As the largest shareholder in CI with 7.79% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 24,700,742 shares worth 24,700,742. A second-largest stockholder of CI, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., holds 17,567,792 shares, controlling over 5.54% of the firm’s shares. Dodge & Cox is the third largest shareholder in CI, holding 17,364,567 shares or 5.47% stake. With a 3.36% stake in CI, the Dodge & Cox Stock Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 10,665,072 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 2.95% of CI stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 9,356,323 shares valued at 2.47 billion. Vanguard 500 Index Fund holds 2.21% of the stake in CI, owning 7,022,590 shares worth 1.85 billion.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for CI since 26 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 14 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 9 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 3 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With CI analysts setting a high price target of $330.00 and a low target of $230.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $295.21. Based on these targets, CI could surge 17.82% to reach the target high and fall by -17.89% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 5.39% from current levels.
EPS: Estimates vs Actual
It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. CI will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/02/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $22.86 being high and $22.60 being low. For CI, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $22.73. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Cigna Corporation surprised analysts by $0.83 when it reported $6.01 EPS against a consensus estimate of $5.18. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.05. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $5.85 and the low estimate is $5.04. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $5.49.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded CI stock several times over the past three months with 10 Buys and 6 Sells. In these transactions, 35,722 shares were bought while 30,853 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 85 while that of sell transactions has risen to 52 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 167,766 while 132,609 shares were sold.