Lehman Upgrades Cigna to 'Equal-Weight'

Analyst Joshua Raskin says the employee-benefits giant should perform in line with the managed-care group for the rest of the year

Lehman Brothers upgraded Cigna (CI ) to equal-weight from underweight.

On Monday the employee benefits organization forecast $1.75 to $1.95 first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations due to stronger than anticipated performance from its health-care business. Analyst Joshua Raskin says based on the company's recent pre-announcement, as well as several other factors, he's becoming more constructive on the shares.

While it's still early, Raskin thinks his underweight rating is no longer warranted. He says while there's certainly a lower amount of visibility and certain potential short-term risks, he doesn't see Cigna underperforming the managed-care group for the remainder of 2004, even after the significant appreciation in shares on Monday alone.

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