Aetna Inc. (AET) Earns Hold Rating from Piper Jaffray Companies
Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by stock analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies in a research report issued on Friday. They presently have a $187.00 price target on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies’ target price points to a potential upside of 9.25% from the company’s current price.
Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on AET. Jefferies Group LLC increased their price target on shares of Aetna from $165.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on shares of Aetna from $183.00 to $197.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $175.00 price target (up from $150.00) on shares of Aetna in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Aetna in a report on Thursday. They set a “neutral” rating and a $174.00 price target for the company. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aetna presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $168.78.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) traded down $0.63 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $171.17. 355,065 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,701,255. The stock has a market capitalization of $56.19 billion, a PE ratio of 16.88, a PEG ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 0.61. The company has a quick ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.39. The firm had revenue of $14.99 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.12 billion. Aetna had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 21.84%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.07 earnings per share. analysts expect that Aetna will post 9.79 EPS for the current year.
In other news, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.91, for a total value of $2,472,527.61. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 64,261 shares in the company, valued at $10,404,498.51. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.85, for a total transaction 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 $5,465,734.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AET. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Aetna by 3,374.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,712,219 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,917,344,000 after acquiring an additional 29,828,390 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its position in Aetna by 73.8% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 13,736,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,085,659,000 after acquiring an additional 5,833,567 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in Aetna by 9,446.2% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,328,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $657,255,000 after acquiring an additional 4,283,553 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors boosted its position in Aetna by 8.9% during the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 20,769,004 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,153,358,000 after acquiring an additional 1,688,767 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Aetna by 3.8% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 23,117,526 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,948,640,000 after acquiring an additional 838,578 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.45% of the company’s stock.
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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