Cigna's Quarterly Profit Rises as Membership Increases

Cigna reported a 22 percent increase in third-quarter profit on Friday as strength in its international and reinsurance segments helped offset slightly weaker earnings in its main health insurance business.

Net income rose to $365 million, or $1.28 per share, from $298 million, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding special items, earnings were $1.14 per share.

It was not immediately clear whether that figure was directly comparable with the analysts' average forecast of 93 cents compiled by Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose 6.5 percent to $4.41 billion.

Membership in Cigna's health plans was 10.2 million, about 900,000 higher than a year ago.

After-tax adjusted earnings in the health care segment slipped to $173 million from $177 million. Results in this business suffered because of lower volume in its mail-order pharmacy and a decline in one part of its fully insured membership from the end of 2006.

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