Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) – Equities researchers at Leerink Swann raised their Q3 2016 EPS estimates for shares of Aetna in a research note issued to investors on Monday. Leerink Swann analyst A. Gupte now forecasts that the brokerage will earn $2.04 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $2.03. Leerink Swann currently has a “Outperform” rating on the stock. Leerink Swann also issued estimates for Aetna’s Q4 2016 earnings at $1.50 EPS.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $2.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.12 by $0.09. Aetna had a return on equity of 16.44% and a net margin of 3.89%. The business earned $15.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.69 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.05 earnings per share. Aetna’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year.
AET has been the subject of several other research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $120.00 price objective on shares of Aetna in a research report on Tuesday, August 30th. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on shares of Aetna in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $128.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 4th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Aetna in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Aetna in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $154.00 price objective for the company. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $132.43.
Shares of Aetna (NYSE:AET) opened at 111.43 on Tuesday. Aetna has a one year low of $92.42 and a one year high of $123.57. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $114.55 and its 200 day moving average price is $115.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $39.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.33 and a beta of 0.54.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 13th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 11th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.90%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio is presently 14.73%.
In other Aetna news, Director Jeffrey E. Garten sold 7,100 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $116.51, for a total value of $827,221.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Shawn M. Guertin sold 45,328 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.21, for a total transaction of $5,448,878.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 44,883 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,395,385.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AET. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in Aetna by 111.5% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 412,190 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,310,000 after buying an additional 217,300 shares in the last quarter. PGGM Investments boosted its position in Aetna by 54.7% in the second quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 794,893 shares of the company’s stock worth $97,080,000 after buying an additional 280,978 shares in the last quarter. Bridger Management LLC bought a new position in Aetna during the first quarter worth approximately $62,926,000. Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Aetna by 10.2% in the first quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,212,479 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,222,000 after buying an additional 112,572 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in Aetna by 4.1% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 145,191 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,732,000 after buying an additional 5,750 shares in the last quarter. 91.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Aetna Inc is a diversified healthcare benefits company. The Company operates through three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance and Large Case Pensions. The Health Care segment’s products and services consist of medical, pharmacy benefit management services, dental, behavioral health and vision plans offered on both an insured basis and an employer-funded, or administrative services contact, basis and emerging businesses products and services, such as accountable care solutions (ACS).
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