Capping a disastrous two weeks, Cigna Corp., Philadelphia, reported a massive third-quarter loss and disclosed it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cigna, the nation's third-largest health insurer, also said it will spend up to $100 million next year to restructure it healthcare operations, which have been plagued by pricing miscalculations and customer-service problems related to the implementation of a new information system. Cigna did not say why the SEC opened what the insurer called an "informal inquiry." But analysts speculated that the probe was prompted by the precipitous drop in Cigna's stock, which has lost roughly 40% of its value since the insurer announced last week that it would miss third-quarter and full-year earnings projections. Cigna reported a net loss of $877 million, or $6.27 per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a net profit of $270 million, or $1.81 per share, for the year-ago period. Excluding $1.04 billion in previously announced charges relating to its now-defunct reinsurance business, the company earned $208 million, or $1.49 per share, down 24% from $273 million, or $1.83 per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 8% to $5.2 billion. -- by Laura B. Benko
At Cigna, large loss and an SEC probe
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