(Bloomberg) — Cigna Corp. Chief Executive Officer David Cordani laid out his plan to reach ambitious earnings goals after the implosion of the health insurer’s mega-merger with Anthem Inc.: increasing sales to seniors and to mid-sized employers.
The strategy means largely sticking with what Cigna knows best, which Cordani says will fuel rapid growth in per-share earnings, with a target of $16 a share by 2021, up from an estimated $9.35 to $9.85 this year. Deals — the company has as much as $14 billion to spend this year — could help accelerate the expansion, the CEO said, but he’s not counting on them.
“It’s not dependent upon an acquisition or a transaction,” Cordani said in an interview. “We will deploy the excess capital to create shareholder value, either through accretive M&A, or through share buyback.”
On investor day Wednesday, shareholders got their first comprehensive look at the strategy since Anthem’s $48 billion plan to buy Cigna collapsed last month amid opposition from antitrust regulators. Cigna will continue to focus on its current businesses, chiefly health plans sold via employers, and Cordani said the approach to areas more at risk from government cuts, such as the Medicaid program for the poor and the Affordable Care Act’s individual market, will remain cautious.
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