Aetna Inc. (AET) Receives “Hold” Rating from Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) in a report released on Friday. They currently have a $187.00 price objective on the stock.

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on AET. Cantor Fitzgerald lowered Aetna from an overweight rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Aetna from $175.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Aetna from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $200.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday. Jefferies Group LLC lifted their target price on Aetna from $165.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on Aetna from $183.00 to $197.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aetna presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $170.34.

Shares of Aetna (AET) traded up $4.67 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $176.99. The company had a trading volume of 5,650,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,701,255. The company has a market cap of $57,716.44, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.33, a P/E/G ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.61. Aetna has a twelve month low of $105.39 and a twelve month high of $184.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 0.53 and a quick ratio of 0.48.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.06 by $0.39. The business had revenue of $14.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.12 billion. Aetna had a return on equity of 21.84% and a net margin of 2.93%. Aetna’s quarterly revenue was down 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.07 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Aetna will post 9.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, October 12th were paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 11th. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 37.04%.

In related news, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the president now directly owns 64,261 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,404,498.51. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $162.85, for a total value of $1,675,400.80. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,563 shares in the company, valued at $5,465,734.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. HL Financial Services LLC raised its stake in Aetna by 26.9% during the 3rd quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 6,782 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,078,000 after buying an additional 1,439 shares during the period. FDx Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Aetna by 20.7% during the 3rd quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 10,371 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,649,000 after buying an additional 1,777 shares during the period. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC raised its stake in Aetna by 14.4% during the 3rd quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 8,953 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,424,000 after buying an additional 1,125 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Aetna by 23.3% during the 3rd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 3,838 shares of the company’s stock worth $610,000 after buying an additional 725 shares during the period. Finally, Essex Financial Services Inc. raised its stake in Aetna by 3.3% during the 3rd quarter. Essex Financial Services Inc. now owns 13,489 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,145,000 after buying an additional 428 shares during the period. 89.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Aetna

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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