Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) – Equities research analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald raised their FY2018 earnings estimates for shares of Aetna in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst S. Halper now expects that the company will post earnings of $11.50 per share for the year, up from their previous forecast of $10.00. Cantor Fitzgerald currently has a “Neutral” rating on the stock.
Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $205.00 price objective on shares of Aetna in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Credit Suisse Group raised their price target on Aetna from $200.00 to $208.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Citigroup cut Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $187.89 to $212.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, Cowen restated a “buy” rating and issued a $212.00 price target on shares of Aetna in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $185.94.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 30th. The company reported $1.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $14.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $14.79 billion. Aetna had a return on equity of 21.50% and a net margin of 3.15%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.08 earnings per share.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 26th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 11th were issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, January 10th. Aetna’s payout ratio is 34.78%.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AET. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in shares of Aetna during the second quarter worth about $350,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Aetna by 17.6% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 173,306 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,311,000 after purchasing an additional 25,930 shares during the last quarter. Shelton Capital Management purchased a new position in shares of Aetna during the second quarter worth about $733,000. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp purchased a new position in shares of Aetna during the second quarter worth about $216,000. Finally, BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Aetna during the second quarter worth about $425,000. 87.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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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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