Aetna Target of Unusually High Options Trading (AET)

Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 16,802 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,130% compared to the typical volume of 1,366 call options.

AET has been the subject of several recent research reports. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Aetna from $175.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of Aetna from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $179.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Cantor Fitzgerald cut shares of Aetna from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $184.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $195.00 target price (up previously from $174.00) on shares of Aetna in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $185.94.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AET. Lloyds Banking Group plc acquired a new stake in shares of Aetna in the third quarter valued at about $106,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Aetna in the fourth quarter valued at about $125,000. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Aetna in the third quarter valued at about $116,000. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Aetna in the fourth quarter valued at about $180,000. Finally, Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Aetna in the fourth quarter valued at about $182,000. Institutional investors own 87.10% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Aetna (AET) opened at $177.38 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $57,840.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.85, a P/E/G ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a current ratio of 1.68, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. Aetna has a 52-week low of $121.01 and a 52-week high of $194.40.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The company reported $1.25 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $14.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.79 billion. Aetna had a net margin of 3.15% and a return on equity of 21.50%. The firm’s revenue was down 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.08 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Aetna will post 10.99 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 26th. Investors of record on Thursday, January 11th were given a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, January 10th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.13%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.78%.

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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.

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