BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Jan. 6, 2021 -- Global health services company Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) today announced that its Board of Directors has instituted a quarterly cash dividend and declared the first quarterly cash dividend of $1.00 per share of Cigna common stock to be paid on March 25, 2021 to shareholders of record as of the close of trading on March 10, 2021.
"Cigna has a long track record of effective capital deployment, and our initiation of a quarterly dividend demonstrates our confidence in our ongoing ability to drive growth as we meet the needs of those we serve," said David M. Cordani, president and chief executive officer. "We are excited to share more at our Investor Day on March 8, 2021 about the strategic positioning of our businesses, drivers of ongoing, differentiated growth, and strong operating cash flow generation, which position us to deliver attractive shareholder returns."
"The Board's initiation of a quarterly dividend is part of a balanced capital deployment strategy to maximize shareholder value," said Brian C. Evanko, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "As we complete our intended deleveraging plans, our strong operating cash flows and forward growth path enable us to initiate a quarterly dividend while maintaining strong liquidity and capital flexibility in order to support ongoing investments for growth and expected meaningful share repurchase activity."
Cigna intends to pay regular quarterly dividends, with future declarations subject to approval by its Board of Directors and the Board's determination that the declaration of dividends remains in the best interests of Cigna and its shareholders. The decision of whether to pay future dividends and the amount of any such dividends will be based on the Company's financial position, results of operations, cash flows, capital requirements, the requirements of applicable law and any other factors the Board of Directors may deem relevant.
As of December 31, 2020, Cigna's outstanding share repurchase authority as approved by Cigna's Board of Directors was approximately $3.9 billion. Cigna expects to deploy at least $2 billion to share repurchase during the first quarter of 2021.1 From November 5, 2020, when Cigna reported third quarter 2020 earnings, through December 31, 2020, Cigna repurchased 5.9 million shares of common stock for approximately $1.2 billion.
Cigna will be hosting its virtual Investor Day on Monday, March 8, 2021. A live webcast of the presentation will be available on the Investor Relations page on www.cigna.com. A replay will be available for four weeks after the event at www.cigna.com.
Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Evernorth companies or their affiliates and Express Scripts companies or their affiliates. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits and other related products. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 170 million customer relationships around the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
1. The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors, including price, general business and market conditions, and alternate uses of capital. The share repurchase program may be effected through open market purchases or privately negotiated transactions in compliance with Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including through Rule 10b5-1 trading plans. The program may be suspended or discontinued at any time.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release, and oral statements made in connection with this release, may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on Cigna's current expectations and projections about future trends, events and uncertainties. These statements are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements may include, among others, statements concerning future dividends, share repurchases and other capital deployment plans and other statements regarding Cigna's future beliefs, expectations, plans, intentions, liquidity, cash flows, financial condition or performance. You may identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "plan," "intend," "anticipate," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "may," "should," "will" or other words or expressions of similar meaning, although not all forward-looking statements contain such terms.
Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our ability to achieve our financial, strategic and operational plans or initiatives; our ability to predict and manage medical and pharmacy costs and price effectively; our ability to adapt to changes or trends in an evolving and rapidly changing industry; our ability to effectively differentiate our products and services from those of our competitors and maintain or increase market share; our ability to develop and maintain good relationships with physicians, hospitals, other health care providers, producers, consultants, and pharmaceutical manufacturers; changes in the pharmacy provider marketplace or pharmacy networks; changes in drug pricing; the impact of modifications to our operations and processes; our ability to identify potential strategic transactions and realize the expected benefits (including anticipated synergies) of such transactions in full or within the anticipated time frame, as well as our ability to integrate or separate operations, resources and systems; the substantial level of government regulation over our business and the potential effects of new laws or regulations or changes in existing laws or regulations; the outcome of litigation, regulatory audits, investigations, actions or guaranty fund assessments; uncertainties surrounding participation in government-sponsored programs such as Medicare; the effectiveness and security of our information technology and other business systems and those of our key suppliers or other third parties; the impact of our debt service obligations on the availability of funds for other business purposes; unfavorable industry, economic or political conditions, including foreign currency movements; acts of civil unrest, war, terrorism, natural disasters or pandemics; reinsurance credit risk; the scale and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on our business, operating results, cash flows and financial condition, as well as on our employees, clients, customers, suppliers and partners and on the U.S. and global economies; as well as more specific risks and uncertainties discussed in our most recent report on Form 10-K, as supplemented by our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020, and subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K available through the Investor Relations section of www.cigna.com. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made, are not guarantees of future performance or results, and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict or quantify. Cigna undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law.
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