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Cigna, Humana end merger talks: report


Health insurance giant Cigna announces $10B stock buyback.

cigna company on stock market © Rokas - stock.adobe.com

© Rokas - stock.adobe.com

Health insurers Cigna and Humana are ending talks to join, according to news reports.

Last month, The Cigna Group and Humana Inc., among the nation’s largest private health insurers, were reportedly negotiating a combination. That has ended, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

On Dec. 10, Cigna announced its board of directors approved a $10 billion stock buyback, bringing the company’s total share repurchase authority to $11.3 billion. Cigna expects to spend at least $5 billion buying back common stock in the first half of 2024, according to a company news release.

"We believe Cigna's shares are significantly undervalued and repurchases represent a value-enhancing deployment of capital as we work to support high-quality care, improved affordability, and better health outcomes," Cigna Chairman and CEO David M. Cordani said in a news release. "As we look at the broader landscape and the strategic opportunities before us, we will remain financially disciplined with a clear focus on executing against our strategy, delivering value for our shareholders, and investing in our future. In light of the current environment, we will consider bolt-on acquisitions aligned with our strategy, as well as value-enhancing divestitures."

In its Dec. 10 announcement, Cigna said the company reaffirmed its outlook of at least $24.75 a share for full-year 2023 consolidated adjusted income. Cigna also has plans to grow next year.

“The company continues to target consolidated adjusted income from operations on a per share basis of at least $28 for full-year 2024,” the news release said.

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