UPDATE 2-Insurer Cigna beats profit estimates, boosts earnings forecast

* Sees FY adj income from ops $9.25-$9.75 per share

* Q1 adj earnings $2.77/shr vs est $2.45/shr

* Anthem files petition to review Cigna deal decision (Adds details, analyst comment)

May 5 (Reuters) - Cigna Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, helped by strength in its commercial business and raised its adjusted earnings forecast for the year.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, handing Republican President Donald Trump a victory that could prove short-lived as the healthcare legislation heads for a likely battle in the Senate.

Cigna's results come at a time when health insurers are deciding how to price their premiums and the markets they can afford to be in next year.

Last week, a U.S. appeals court blocked Anthem Inc's bid to merge with Cigna, upholding a lower court's decision that the $54 billion deal should not be allowed because it would lead to higher prices for healthcare.

Anthem said on Friday it was filing a petition with the United States Supreme Court to review the appeals court decision.

Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel said the odds for Anthem's success seem quite low and still expects the merger to break.

Cigna, which manages large corporate and government health plans and has a small individual insurance business, raised its 2017 adjusted income from operation forecast to $9.25 to $9.75 per share, up from its previous estimate of $9.00 to $9.50.

Newshel noted that the increased guidance appears conservative and still does not include future share repurchases.

Cigna's net income rose to $598 million, or $2.30 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $519 million, or $2.00 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $2.77 per share, well above the analysts' average estimate of $2.45, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Medical customers totaled 15.7 million at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 4 percent, driven by organic growth in Cigna's commercial unit.

Consolidated operating revenue rose 5 percent to $10.34 billion, ahead of estimates of about $10.10 billion. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)