Aetna Inc. (AET) Upgraded by Cleveland Research to “Buy”

Cleveland Research upgraded shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday, May 11th, Marketbeat Ratings reports.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on AET. Jefferies Group LLC raised their target price on Aetna to $133.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 1st. Leerink Swann cut Aetna from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $135.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, January 24th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $140.00 price objective on shares of Aetna in a research report on Monday, February 6th. Vetr lowered Aetna from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $121.77 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, February 13th. Finally, CIBC reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Aetna in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $147.99.

Shares of Aetna (NYSE AET) opened at 150.59 on Thursday. Aetna has a 52 week low of $104.59 and a 52 week high of $150.99. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $144.12 and a 200-day moving average price of $131.19. The company has a market capitalization of $49.95 billion, a PE ratio of 45.93 and a beta of 0.48.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $2.71 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.36 by $0.35. Aetna had a return on equity of 17.75% and a net margin of 1.84%. The business had revenue of $15.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.39 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.30 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Aetna will post $8.99 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 28th. Investors of record on Thursday, July 13th will be issued a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 11th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.33%. Aetna’s payout ratio is 62.31%.

In other Aetna news, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 27,028 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.23, for a total transaction of $4,033,388.44. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,563 shares in the company, valued at $5,008,606.49. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Shawn M. Guertin sold 29,602 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $129.35, for a total value of $3,829,018.70. Following the sale, the insider now owns 44,880 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,805,228. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 160,177 shares of company stock valued at $22,440,789 in the last quarter. 0.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Aetna by 1.2% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,894,948 shares of the company’s stock worth $218,771,000 after buying an additional 21,988 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System increased its position in Aetna by 0.5% in the third quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 95,234 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,995,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its position in Aetna by 116.3% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,387,280 shares of the company’s stock valued at $160,161,000 after buying an additional 745,810 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its position in Aetna by 0.3% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,747,418 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,739,000 after buying an additional 6,022 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ibex Wealth Advisors increased its position in Aetna by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Ibex Wealth Advisors now owns 15,651 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,918,000 after buying an additional 526 shares during the last quarter. 91.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Aetna Company Profile

Aetna Inc is a diversified healthcare benefits company. The Company operates through three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance and Large Case Pensions. It offers a range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, medical management capabilities, Medicaid healthcare management services, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology (HIT) products and services.

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