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UPDATE 1-Cigna first-quarter profit beat estimates, raises 2019 forecasts

(Compares with analyst estimates, adds forecast and membership details)

May 2 (Reuters) - Health insurer Cigna Corp beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profit and raised its full-year forecasts on Thursday, benefiting from its $52 billion acquisition of pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.

Cigna sells health plans for large and medium-sized corporations as well as government Medicare plans and manages pharmacy benefits under its health services unit.

The health insurer raised its full-year forecast for adjusted income from operations to between $16.25 and $16.65 per share from between $16 and $16.50 per share.

Cigna also hiked its 2019 adjusted revenue forecast to between $132.50 billion and $134.50 billion from between $131.5 billion and $133.50 billion.

The company said its total customers at the end of March 31 was 168.2 million compared with 97.2 million a year earlier.

Excluding items, Cigna earned $3.90 per share in the quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of $3.73 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Its net income rose 49.5 percent to $1.37 billion in the first quarter from $915 million a year earlier.

The company reported adjusted revenue of $33.43 billion and beat estimates of $33.11 billion. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)