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      The Cigna Group (CI): Stock Surged After Analyst Upgrade

      By Fahim Awan

      Published on

      December 12, 2023

      1:59 PM UTC

      The Cigna Group (CI): Stock Surged After Analyst Upgrade

      The Cigna Group (NYSE: CI) equity experienced notable gains during the most recent trading session, marking an ascent of 16.68% to conclude the session at $301.97. This positive momentum in Cigna Group’s stock can be attributed to an upgraded rating bestowed by the esteemed analyst firm Jefferies. Notably, on Monday, Jefferies reassessed its stance on CI stock, shifting from a “Hold” to a more favorable “Buy” rating, concurrently adjusting the price target from $335 to $341.

      The surge in Cigna Group (CI) stock is further linked to its decision to forego a merger arrangement in favor of implementing a shares buyback strategy. Reports emerged on Sunday confirming Cigna’s discontinuation of negotiations for the acquisition of its rival, Humana.

      The termination of the deal talks was primarily attributed to the parties’ inability to reach a consensus on the pricing aspect. However, Cigna promptly disclosed its intention to initiate share repurchases. The Board of Directors of CI has sanctioned a cumulative increase of $10 billion in incremental share repurchase authorization, augmenting the company’s total share repurchase authority to $11.3 billion.

      The company anticipates allocating a significant portion of its discretionary cash flow towards share repurchases in 2024. Cigna envisions executing share repurchases totaling at least $5 billion of common stock by the conclusion of the first half of 2024. Part of this repurchase is slated to transpire through an accelerated share repurchase program scheduled for the first quarter of 2024.

      Cigna Group justifies its commitment to share repurchases by highlighting the perceived undervaluation of its shares, emphasizing that such buybacks represent a value-enhancing capital deployment. This strategic approach aligns with Cigna’s broader commitment to supporting high-quality care, enhancing affordability, and fostering better health outcomes.

      Emphasizing a comprehensive outlook and strategic opportunities, Cigna is poised to maintain financial discipline while steadfastly executing its strategy. The company remains committed to delivering value for its shareholders and strategically investing in future endeavors.

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