Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at The Cigna Group
Thanks, Ralph. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining our call today. We're off to a very good start to the year with the first quarter defined by strong results across both Evernorth and Cigna Healthcare, positive momentum, and focused execution, all of which are advancing our strategy and driving growth. We're pleased with our performance overall, specifically with delivering adjusted EPS above our initial expectations.
Today, I'm going to keep my comments relatively brief and focus on some of the key drivers of our performance. Brian will then provide additional detail about our financial results and our outlook for 2022, and we'll take your questions. Then on June 3rd, we'll host our Investor Day, when we will provide a deeper level of insights relative to our strategic vision, the growth profile of our businesses, and differentiated drivers that will deliver sustained, attractive growth.
So, let's jump in. In the first quarter, we delivered adjusted revenue of $44 billion and $6.01 of adjusted earnings per share. As a result of our strong results this quarter, we are now raising our full year adjusted EPS guidance, underscoring our view that we will achieve another strong year of performance for our company in 2022. We also remain on track to generate $12 billion in deployable capital for the year and directing at least $7 billion to repurchase our shares.
I want to take a minute to thank our team for all their hard work that led to these outstanding results. Our more than 70,000 colleagues around the world are committed to delivering on our promise in the market day in day out and, as a result, expanding our client customer relationships, all of which enables us to grow and deliver strong results for our shareholders.
Now let's take a deeper look at Evernorth and Cigna Healthcare platforms and the drivers of their performance. Following an outstanding year growth in 2021, Evernorth maintained momentum with strong top and bottom line results in the quarter. Driven in part by the sustained growth of our Accredo and CuraScript Specialty Pharmacy business which continues to represent one of the fastest growing parts of our health service portfolio.
The key driver of this performance is the way in which Evernorth is increasingly resonating with a wide range of buyers, including employers health plans, governmental organizations, and health care delivery systems. In any environment, we're getting people the right care and treatment at an affordable price is of paramount importance.
I spent meaningful time over the past few months meeting with a number of our clients and partners and they consistently point to the attractive breadth and depth of Evernorth services and expertise. Our clients rely upon the services and expertise to solve the most pressing health care needs. For some clients, this means tapping into the strength of our pharmacy services; others, it may be our behavioral health support; with others, the unique specialty pharmacy expertise we bring to the table. More and more, our clients are seeking our solutions that leverage our broad, high performing portfolio of capabilities.
For example, Evernorth recently launched a new provider console service for patients with cancer. This service leverages our powerful analytics to identify and connect patients to their oncologists, to cancer subspecialty experts, and designated National Cancer Institute centers. And this process enables patients to gain access to the latest innovations in research with better health outcomes, lower costs, and, importantly, keeps the patient's care close to home and their family. This service augments our existing suite of oncology solutions including personalized case management, mental health care, financial support services, pharmacy solutions, and collaborative partnerships with oncology providers.
Additionally, on the strength of our offerings, a couple of weeks ago, we announced a new long-term strategic collaboration between Evernorth and Kaiser Permanente. We're drawing on capabilities across both Evernorth and our Cigna Healthcare platforms in a way that creates new opportunities for serving a broad range of Kaiser's clients and customers. This builds on our successful relationships, for example, with Prime Therapeutics and the Department of Defense, both of which were recently renewed for extended contract periods.
Finally, it's still early into 2023 selling season, but we are continuing to see strong demand for Evernorth services amongst existing and new clients and additional opportunities to deliver even more value, particularly as we expect more biosimilars to come to market over the coming years. And we are seeing strong retention in our Evernorth portfolio of businesses.
Turning to Cigna Healthcare. We delivered a strong start to the year. Our medical care ratio during the quarter was 81.5%, which was better than we projected. This reflects the disciplined and targeted actions we initiated last year to improve our results, including implementing new affordability efforts and pricing actions. In U.S. commercial, we achieved strong membership growth during the quarter, with growth across each of our segments. At the time when employers are trying to navigate a complex economic landscape for their businesses and an emotionally taxing environment for their employees, many are turning to us as the right strategic growth partner to improve presenteeism, productivity, and health outcomes.
Employers tell us that they value the ability of our U.S. commercial teams to partner with them in developing programs that guide employees to the right care, at the right place, at the right time; programs supporting them in attracting and retaining talent through strong employer-sponsored benefits, programs, and services; and programs providing greater predictability in managing financial risk for the companies, while optimizing their cash flow during these uncertain times.
Our international business also contributed to our growth during the quarter, as it achieved higher customer retention and membership growth levels. We also remain on track with the divestiture of our international life, accident and supplemental benefits business in certain countries to Chubb. With our sharpened focus on health services, we continue to see attractive opportunities for serving multinational employers, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the globally mobile population.
In our U.S. government business, enrollment was down, as expected, as we prioritized margin expansion and completed the divestiture of our Texas Medicaid business. We continue to take actions to position our government business for growth in 2023 and over the long term.
Now to wrap up, our first quarter results are strong. They underscore the momentum we're building, as we serve the evolving needs of our customers and clients, as well as continue to drive growth and margin improvement in our company. We delivered adjusted EPS of $6.01 and we continue to make strategic investments in our business while paying a meaningful dividend and remaining on path to repurchase at least $7 billion of our shares in 2022. With focused execution, we are demonstrating our ability to navigate and lead through this continued dynamic environment for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.
And now with that, I'll turn it over to Brian.