Jefferies Group Comments on Aetna Inc.’s FY2017 Earnings (AET)

Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group upped their FY2017 earnings per share estimates for shares of Aetna in a research report issued on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst D. Windley now forecasts that the company will post earnings of $9.93 per share for the year, up from their prior estimate of $9.55. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $185.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Aetna’s Q4 2017 earnings at $1.29 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $2.62 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $2.60 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $10.35 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $11.41 EPS.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.39. The company had revenue of $14.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.12 billion. Aetna had a return on equity of 21.84% and a net margin of 2.93%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.07 earnings per share.

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Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on shares of Aetna from $183.00 to $197.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on shares of Aetna in a research report on Thursday. They set a “neutral” rating and a $174.00 target price on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $175.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of Aetna from $175.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Aetna has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $166.09.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AET. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P increased its position in shares of Aetna by 20.3% during the first quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 430,541 shares of the company’s stock worth $54,915,000 after acquiring an additional 72,745 shares in the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its position in shares of Aetna by 39.2% during the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 7,259 shares of the company’s stock worth $926,000 after acquiring an additional 2,045 shares in the last quarter. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. increased its position in shares of Aetna by 227.5% during the first quarter. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. now owns 17,593 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,244,000 after acquiring an additional 12,221 shares in the last quarter. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Aetna during the first quarter worth $16,237,000. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its position in shares of Aetna by 0.7% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,353 shares of the company’s stock worth $173,000 after acquiring an additional 9 shares in the last quarter. 89.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other news, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.85, for a total transaction of $1,675,400.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,563 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,465,734.55. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.91, for a total transaction of $2,472,527.61. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 64,261 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,404,498.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 27th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 12th were issued a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 11th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.16%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.04%.

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Aetna (NYSE:AET)

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