Bear Stearns Cuts Rating on Cigna

The employee-benefits group warns about its 2001 outlook

Bear Stearns downgraded its rating on Cigna (CI ) to attractive from buy.

Analyst John Rex says in a conference call following Cigna's Q4 results Friday, the employee-benefits firm made highly cautious statements about its 2001 economic outlook and the potential impact on its EPS earnings outlook. He says the company is, in essence, guiding the Street's numbers down. Rex says his $7.65 2001 estimate is under review; and he will likely reduce his estimate to the $7.50-$7.55 range and cut his price target to $125 from $135.

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