UPDATE 1-Cigna profit rises and beats analyst expectations

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 | 6:33 AM ET

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Insurer Cigna Corp on Thursday reported a third-quarter profit that beat analysts' expectations as revenue increased and it managed medical costs in its commercial business.

Net income rose to $553 million, or $1.95 per share, from $466 million, or $1.61 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding investment gains, the company reported a profit of $1.89 per share. On that basis, analysts on average had expected $1.63, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cigna, which provides U.S. and overseas health insurance as well as disability and life insurance, said it expected full-year earnings of $6.70 to $6.90 per share. Analysts were expecting $6.65, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said third-quarter revenue rose to 8.1 billion from $7.3 billion a year earlier.

Cigna's report comes after larger competitor Aetna Inc missed analysts' earnings expectations earlier this week, in part because of funding cuts in private Medicare. UnitedHealth Group Inc's quarter met but did not beat expectations for similar reasons.

Cigna has a private Medicare business, but it is comparatively small.

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