Markets & Finance

Salomon Downgrades Cigna to 'Underperform'

Salomon Smith Barney downgraded Cigna (CI) to underperform from in-line.

Analyst Charles Boorady says he cut his 3% enrollment growth estimate for 2003 to 1%-2%, which makes his and the Street's current 2003 earnings per share estimates appear too high. He has become increasingly convinced that the company hasn't sufficiently addressed issues that caused the shortfall in enrollment growth over the last two years. Hence, he sees another disappointing year for enrollment growth in 2003.

Boorady cut his $8.90 2003 earnings per share estimate to $8.10, and cut the $89 target to $81; he maintains his $7.95 2002 earnings per share estimate. Boorady notes the company will give first-time 2003 guidance on its third-quarter conference call on Nov. 1. At that time, he expects a new health plan CFO to be named.

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