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Income tax benefit from failed merger boosts Cigna's Q2 shareholders' net income

Cigna Corp. reported second-quarter adjusted income from operations of $750 million, or $2.91 per share, compared to $515 million, or $1.98 per share, in the year-ago period.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was $2.48.

Shareholders' net income for the quarter came in at $813 million, or $3.15 per share, versus $510 million, or $1.97 per share, in the year-ago period. Results of the most recent quarter include a special item benefit of $47 million after tax, or 18 cents per share, associated with the terminated merger agreement with Anthem Inc., compared with an after-tax charge in the second quarter 2016 of $26 million, 10 cents per share, for merger-related transaction costs. The second-quarter 2017 special item benefit was driven by a merger-related income tax benefit, net of transaction costs.

Total revenues rose year over year to $10.32 billion from $9.96 billion.

Cigna's global medical customer base totaled 15.7 million as of June 30, up 457,000 customers year to date, driven by organic growth in the company's commercial market segments.

The insurer said it has raised its outlook for 2017, saying it now expects adjusted income from operations to be in the range of $2.50 billion to $2.58 billion, or $9.75 to $10.05 per share. The company previously projected full-year 2017 consolidated adjusted income from operations in the range of $2.41 billion to $2.53 billion, or $9.35 per share to $9.85 per share.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2017 is $9.78.

Total revenue growth is still expected to be in the range of 3% to 4%. Global medical customer growth is expected to be between 500,000 and 600,000 lives for 2017.

Year to date, as of Aug. 3, the company repurchased 7.7 million common shares for approximately $1.25 billion.