Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) – Stock analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald lifted their FY2017 earnings estimates for Aetna in a research report issued on Wednesday. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst S. Halper now forecasts that the company will post earnings per share of $9.75 for the year, up from their previous forecast of $9.50. Cantor Fitzgerald has a “Neutral” rating on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald also issued estimates for Aetna’s FY2018 earnings at $10.00 EPS.

AET has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $174.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $163.00 price target (up previously from $157.00) on shares of Aetna in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on shares of Aetna from $157.00 to $163.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $165.00 price target (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Aetna in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets started coverage on shares of Aetna in a research note on Monday, October 16th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $175.00 price target for the company. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $165.62.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, October 12th were given a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 11th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.18%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.04%.

In related news, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.85, for a total value of $1,675,400.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,563 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,465,734.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.91, for a total transaction of $2,472,527.61. Following the completion of the sale, the president now 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. 0.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bruderman Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Aetna in the 2nd quarter valued at $106,000. Liberty Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Aetna by 206.9% in the 2nd quarter. Liberty Capital Management Inc. now owns 933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $144,000 after purchasing an additional 629 shares during the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its position in Aetna by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,353 shares of the company’s stock valued at $173,000 after purchasing an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Aetna by 53.5% in the 2nd quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,148 shares of the company’s stock valued at $177,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Phocas Financial Corp. purchased a new stake in Aetna in the 2nd quarter valued at $182,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.45% of the company’s stock.

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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