Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) Given “Hold” Rating at Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies restated their hold rating on shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) in a research note issued to investors on Friday, November 3rd. Piper Jaffray Companies currently has a $187.00 price objective on the stock.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Aetna from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $200.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Aetna in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. They set a neutral rating and a $174.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut Aetna from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price target on Aetna from $183.00 to $197.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC boosted their price target on Aetna from $165.00 to $185.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Eleven research 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 a consensus price target of $172.36.

Aetna (AET) traded down $0.21 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $176.24. The company had a trading volume of 1,327,464 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,429,968. Aetna has a 12 month low of $116.04 and a 12 month high of $184.98. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $57,470.00, a P/E ratio of 17.13, a PEG ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 0.61.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.39. The company had revenue of $14.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.12 billion. Aetna had a return on equity of 21.84% and a net margin of 2.93%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.07 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Aetna will post 9.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, October 12th were given a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 11th. Aetna’s payout ratio is 36.97%.

In other Aetna news, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the president now directly owns 64,261 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,404,498.51. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The stock was 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 $5,465,734.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.14% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AET. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Aetna by 3,374.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,712,219 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,917,344,000 after purchasing an additional 29,828,390 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its position in Aetna by 73.8% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 13,736,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,085,659,000 after purchasing an additional 5,833,567 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in Aetna by 9,446.2% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,328,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $657,255,000 after purchasing an additional 4,283,553 shares during the period. Capital World Investors grew its position in Aetna by 8.9% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 20,769,004 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,153,358,000 after purchasing an additional 1,688,767 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Aetna by 3.8% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 23,117,526 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,948,640,000 after purchasing an additional 838,578 shares during the period. 88.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Aetna (NYSE:AET)

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