swung to a second-quarter loss after factoring in a charge to exit a business, but minus the item, the insurance company's results topped Wall Street's consensus estimate on strength in its health care and retirement units.
The company also issued full-year guidance that would top analysts' projections.
Cigna's quarterly loss was $53 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with earnings of $214 million, or $1.50 a share, in the year-ago period. Cigna's second-quarter 2003 results include an after-tax charge of $286 million for a discontinued business line and job cuts.
Earnings from continuing operations totaled $158 million, or $1.13 a share, compared with $280 million, or $1.96 a share, last year. Analysts were calling for $1.08 a share.
"The results from continuing operations reported today are consistent with our earnings preannouncement and reflect solid performance in our specialty health-care, retirement, group disability and life and international operations," said H. Edward Hanway, chairman and chief executive of Cigna.
Total revenue was $4.6 billion, down from $4.7 billion last year.
The Philadelphia-based company forecast full-year consolidated income from continuing operations, before items, of about $700 million to $750 million, or $5 to $5.25 a share. Analysts predict $4.92 a share. The company earned $6.65 a share last year.
Shares of Cigna were falling $1.58, or 3.4%, to $45.20 on the
New York Stock Exchange