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Despite Express Scripts Merger, Cigna Misses Q4 Estimates

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   February 01, 2019

The Philadelphia-based insurer posted its first earnings since its megamerger with Express Scripts closed in December.

Cigna Corp. produced $14.3 billion in total quarterly revenues and $144 million in net income but failed to meet earnings estimates, according to its Q4 earnings report released Friday morning.

The insurer, fresh off closing its $52 billion megamerger with Express Scripts, posted a quartely adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.46 but fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.53.

Cigna's stock did not react well to Friday's earnings report as it slid by more than 3.8% during early morning trading. 

Overall, Cigna capped off 2018 with total adjusted revenues of $48 billion, a 15% year-over-year increase, along with a net income of $3.6 billion.   

Related: Cigna Posts $11.5B in Total Revenues For Second Consecutive Quarter

Leadership at both Cigna and Express Scripts have remained bullish about the newly merged company's prospects for 2019.

Express Scripts and Cigna Services President Tim Wentworth told the St. Louis Business Journal "it's been off to the races," while Cigna CEO David Cordani has indicated the company will push further into patient health.


"Cigna completed an exceptionally strong 2018, with revenue, customer, and earnings growth, driven by continued innovation across the business," Cordani said in a statement. "We enter 2019 further strengthened by our combination with Express Scripts and positioned to deliver outstanding growth fueled by accelerated innovation that will improve whole person health and affordability for customers and clients."

Related: Tenet, Cigna Ink Multi-Year Deal

By the end of 2018, Cigna serviced nearly 17 million members, up from 16.3 million members at the end of 2017, based on growing its commercial division by nearly 400,000 members.


  • Cigna stated its pharmacy and Medicare Part D membership growth was attributable to its acquisition of Express Scripts.
  • Adjusted revenues in Q4 2018 rose 7% year-over-year due to what the insurer described as "continued business growth."
  • During 2018, the insurer repurchased 1.6 million shares for $329 million and repurchased 1.1 million shares in January 2019 for $209 million. 

For complete financial information, review Cigna's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

Photo credit: KONSKIE, POLAND - AUGUST 11, 2018: Cigna logo displayed on a modern smartphone - Image / Editorial credit: Piotr Swat /

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