Cigna Corp beat quarterly profit estimates on Thursday and raised its full-year sales forecast, according to a Reuters report. The company’s higher-than-expected profits were driven by sales in its revamped health services unit.
Cigna also backed its adjusted profit forecast of $20 to $21 per share for next year, based on projections of steady growth in its pharmacy benefits management business, Reuters reported.
However, the company said it predicted higher medical costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also predicting growth in the unit that offers government-backed healthcare plans and Medicare Advantage plans for people over 65 and those with disabilities. The company expects its Medicare Advantage business to post a 10% to 15% growth in membership in 2021, Reuters reported.
For the last quarter, adjusted revenue from Cigna’s Evernorth unit – which includes Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefits management it purchased in 2018 – rose about 20% to $29.83 billion thanks to a 22% hike in adjusted pharmacy prescription volumes.
Cigna raised its 2020 revenue forecast to about $158 billion from its previous estimate of $154 billion to $156 billion, Reuters reported. It also adjusted its profit expectations to full-year earnings of $18.30 to $18.60 per share, compared with previous estimates of $18 to $18.60.
Excluding items, Cigna earned $4.41 per share, blowing past estimates of $4.24 per share, Reuters reported.