Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group cut their Q3 2017 earnings per share estimates for shares of Aetna in a research note issued on Thursday. Jefferies Group analyst D. Windley now expects that the company will earn $2.08 per share for the quarter, down from their prior estimate of $2.28. Jefferies Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $163.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Aetna’s FY2017 earnings at $9.55 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $10.19 EPS.

AET has been the subject of several other reports. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on Aetna from $144.00 to $157.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $155.00 price objective on shares of Aetna in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Cowen and Company set a $170.00 price objective on Aetna and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, May 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $170.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. assumed coverage on Aetna in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $180.00 price objective for the company. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $155.46.

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Shares of Aetna (NYSE AET) opened at 156.79 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $153.22 and a 200 day moving average of $137.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $52.01 billion, a PE ratio of 47.82 and a beta of 0.54. Aetna has a 12-month low of $104.59 and a 12-month high of $161.69.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported $3.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.34 by $1.08. The firm had revenue of $15.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.34 billion. Aetna had a net margin of 2.52% and a return on equity of 20.52%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.21 earnings per share.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 3,374.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,712,219 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,917,344,000 after buying an additional 29,828,390 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 3.8% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 23,117,526 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,948,640,000 after buying an additional 838,578 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 26.0% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 3,639,077 shares of the company’s stock worth $464,165,000 after buying an additional 751,166 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 29.2% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 2,376,132 shares of the company’s stock worth $303,076,000 after buying an additional 537,604 shares during the period. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 15,083.0% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 504,076 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,320,000 after buying an additional 500,756 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.73% of the company’s stock.

In other Aetna news, Chairman Mark T. Bertolini sold 103,547 shares of Aetna stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $140.79, for a total transaction of $14,578,382.13. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 659,888 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $92,905,631.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 27,028 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $149.23, for a total value of $4,033,388.44. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,563 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,008,606.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.14% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 28th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, July 13th were issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, July 11th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.28%. Aetna’s payout ratio is presently 43.67%.

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Aetna (NYSE:AET)

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