Cigna (CI - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $224.84, moving +0.65% from the previous trading session. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.09%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 1.13%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.51%.
Heading into today, shares of the health insurer had gained 3.28% over the past month, outpacing the Finance sector's gain of 2.32% and the S&P 500's gain of 1.92% in that time.
Investors will be hoping for strength from CI as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 7, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $2.52, up 29.9% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $11.35 billion, up 8.02% from the year-ago period.
Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $14.35 per share and revenue of $45.68 billion. These totals would mark changes of +37.19% and +10.4%, respectively, from last year.
It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for CI. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.
The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 3.51% higher. CI currently has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).
In terms of valuation, CI is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 15.56. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 12.19.
Also, we should mention that CI has a PEG ratio of 1.26. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. Insurance - Multi line stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.2 based on yesterday's closing prices.
The Insurance - Multi line industry is part of the Finance sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 97, putting it in the top 38% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.
Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.