Aetna (NYSE: AET) is one of 14 publicly-traded companies in the “Managed Health Care” industry, but how does it contrast to its peers? We will compare Aetna to similar companies based on the strength of its risk, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation and dividends.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Aetna and its peers revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Aetna $62.20 billion $6.06 billion 35.64
Aetna Competitors $52.30 billion $3.74 billion 18.01

Aetna has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Aetna is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Profitability

This table compares Aetna and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aetna 2.52% 20.52% 5.35%
Aetna Competitors 1.87% 10.91% 3.50%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Aetna and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aetna 0 5 13 0 2.72
Aetna Competitors 79 853 1409 22 2.58

Aetna currently has a consensus target price of $162.80, suggesting a potential downside of 0.25%. As a group, “Managed Health Care” companies have a potential downside of 2.17%. Given Aetna’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Aetna is more favorable than its peers.

Risk and Volatility

Aetna has a beta of 0.53, suggesting that its share price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aetna’s peers have a beta of 0.76, suggesting that their average share price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

89.5% of Aetna shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.2% of shares of all “Managed Health Care” companies are owned by institutional investors. 1.1% of Aetna shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.5% of shares of all “Managed Health Care” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Aetna pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Aetna pays out 43.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Managed Health Care” companies pay a dividend yield of 0.9% and pay out 21.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

Aetna beats its peers on 10 of the 15 factors compared.

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. The Health Care segment consists of medical, pharmacy benefit management services, dental, behavioral health and vision plans offered on both an Insured basis and an employer-funded basis, and emerging businesses products and services. The Group Insurance segment includes group life insurance and group disability products. Its products are offered on an Insured basis.

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