Oppenheimer Holdings Analysts Lift Earnings Estimates for Aetna Inc. (AET)

Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) – Analysts at Oppenheimer Holdings boosted their FY2017 earnings per share estimates for Aetna in a research report issued on Tuesday, Zacks Investment Research reports. Oppenheimer Holdings analyst M. Wiederhorn now expects that the company will post earnings of $9.83 per share for the year, up from their previous forecast of $9.55. Oppenheimer Holdings also issued estimates for Aetna’s Q4 2017 earnings at $1.21 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $2.82 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $10.09 EPS.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $14.99 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.12 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $2.07 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.0% on a year-over-year basis.

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Several other equities analysts also recently commented on AET. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Aetna from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price target on shares of Aetna from $162.00 to $171.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $163.00 target price (up previously from $157.00) on shares of Aetna in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price 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. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $175.00 target price (up previously from $150.00) on shares of Aetna in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aetna presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $170.34.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) traded up $2.59 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $175.12. 2,240,900 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,100,742. The firm has a market capitalization of $57,106.63, a P/E ratio of 17.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.60 and a beta of 0.61. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. Aetna has a fifty-two week low of $116.04 and a fifty-two week high of $184.98.

The company also recently disclosed 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 1.14%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio is presently 37.04%.

In related news, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,563 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,465,734.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 18th. The stock was 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 in the company, valued at $10,404,498.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its position in shares of Aetna by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,353 shares of the company’s stock worth $173,000 after acquiring an additional 9 shares in the last quarter. Financial Architects Inc increased its position in shares of Aetna by 1.8% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $265,000 after acquiring an additional 31 shares in the last quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. increased its position in shares of Aetna by 1.4% in the second quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 3,779 shares of the company’s stock worth $574,000 after acquiring an additional 52 shares in the last quarter. Calamos Wealth Management LLC increased its position in shares of Aetna by 0.7% in the second quarter. Calamos Wealth Management LLC now owns 8,919 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,354,000 after acquiring an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. Finally, HM Payson & Co. increased its position in shares of Aetna by 0.5% in the first quarter. HM Payson & Co. now owns 12,861 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,641,000 after acquiring an additional 69 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.06% of the company’s stock.

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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Aetna (NYSE:AET)

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