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Aetna (NYSE:AET) was upgraded by investment analysts at Credit Suisse from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $83.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $69.00. Credit Suisse’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 15.73% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “Moreover, while there is uncertainty associated with hc reform, our analysis around new exchange lives and Medicaid expansion gives us comfort that any potential downside risk is limited and/or manageable,” the report said. “We are raising our estimates and increasing our TP to $83 (from $69), and view discounted valuation as attractive. Aetna is our new top pick in Managed Care and the Credit Suisse Investment Policy Committee (IPC) is adding AET to the U.S. Focus List.”

AET has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Barclays raised their price target on shares of Aetna from $75.00 to $80.00 in a research note to investors on Wednesday. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at FBR Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Aetna from $71.00 to $75.00 in a research note to investors on Friday, December 13th. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Aetna in a research note to investors on Friday, December 13th. They now have a $83.00 price target on the stock. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.00.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) traded up 3.73% on Thursday, hitting $71.72. 4,185,843 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Aetna has a one year low of $45.12 and a one year high of $71.74. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $67.45 and a 200-day moving average of $64.80. The company has a market cap of $26.357 billion and a P/E ratio of 13.98.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.53. The company had revenue of $12.99 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.89 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.55 earnings per share. Aetna’s revenue was up 46.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Aetna will post $5.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, January 31st. Investors of record on Thursday, January 16th will be paid a dividend of 0.225 per share. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.25%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 14th. This is an increase from Aetna’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20.

In other Aetna news, CEO Mark Bertolini unloaded 130,272 shares of Aetna stock on the open market in a transaction dated Monday, December 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.08, for a total value of $8,868,917.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 526,938 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $35,873,939. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) is a diversified healthcare benefits company.

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