What Cigna Investors Should Expect From Its Latest Victory

CI is one step closer to a buyout of ESRX after approval from the Department of Justice

Source: Shutterstock

Cigna (NYSE:CI) was recently granted an early termination of the antitrust waiting period by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for its proposed acquisition of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX). With this, Cigna has managed to cross a major hurdle in the path of this deal. Notably, this transaction had received friction from CI stock investor Carl Icahn, who urged the shareholders of the companies involved to vote against the deal on concerns that it would hardly benefit  Cigna, given the headwinds faced by Express Scripts.

Last month, shareholders of both the companies gave their approval to the proposed acquisition. Valued at nearly $67 billion at the time of its announcement in March 2018, the deal is expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to regulatory clearances in some states.

Regarding the synergy to be derived from the deal, Cigna expects adjusted earnings-per-share to gain in the double-digits range (excluding any impact from transitioning of clients by Express Scripts specially Anthem) in 2019. By 2021, this health insurer projects adjusted EPS of $20-$21, of which $2-$3 is expected to come from Express Scripts.

Given no significant overlapping business between CI and ESRX, the DoJ nod was more or less anticipated. Overlapping business leads to market concentration and can negatively impact healthy competition in an industry. On the contrary, an official of the DoJ stated that, the deal will hardly impact competition or consumers.

What to Expect From CI Stock

In a year’s time, CI stock has gained 6.8% against the industry’s decline of 2.8%.

CI stock charts

Approval of this proposed acquisition by the DoJ also lays the path straight for another pending deal between health insurer Aetna (NYSE:AET) and CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS), a pharmacy benefit manager. Both the companies, however, have overlapping Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business and will have to divest some of this business to be able to qualify for DoJ’s approval.

Moving ahead, these deals are likely to transform the healthcare space into a more integrated one, with companies building their backward and forward chains. The combination of a pharmacy benefit business with health insurance should help the companies control drug pricing costs to some extent, which is one of the significant reasons behind soaring medical costs. It will also help the pharmacy benefit managers to position themselves better for facing the competition arising from the entry of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the healthcare space.

CI stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

5 Companies Verge on Apple-Like Run

Did you miss Apple’s 9X stock explosion after they launched their iPhone in 2007? Now 2018 looks to be a pivotal year to get in on another emerging technology expected to rock the market. Demand could soar from almost nothing to $42 billion by 2025. Reports suggest it could save 10 million lives per decade which could in turn save $200 billion in U.S. healthcare costs. A bonus Zacks Special Report names this breakthrough and the 5 best stocks to exploit it. Like Apple in 2007, these companies are already strong and coiling for potential mega-gains.

Click to see them right now >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report

Aetna Inc. (AET): Free Stock Analysis Report

CVS Health Corporation (CVS): Free Stock Analysis Report

Express Scripts Holding Company (ESRX): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2018/09/what-cigna-investors-should-expect-from-its-latest-victory/.

©2020 InvestorPlace Media, LLC