Investors Buy Aetna (AET) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) on weakness during trading hours on Tuesday. $102.90 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $39.68 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $63.22 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Aetna had the 18th highest net in-flow for the day. Aetna traded down ($0.48) for the day and closed at $178.03

A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on AET. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on shares of Aetna from $200.00 to $208.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $212.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $212.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Citigroup lowered shares of Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $187.89 to $212.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $195.00 to $212.00 in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $185.94.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 1.68 and a quick ratio of 0.53. The firm has a market cap of $58,210.00, a P/E ratio of 29.43, a P/E/G ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 0.60.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 26th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 11th were paid a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, January 10th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.06%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Focused Wealth Management Inc lifted its stake in shares of Aetna by 84.5% in the fourth quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc now owns 655 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Lloyds Banking Group plc bought a new position in shares of Aetna in the third quarter worth approximately $106,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in shares of Aetna in the fourth quarter worth approximately $125,000. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC bought a new position in shares of Aetna in the third quarter worth approximately $116,000. Finally, James Hambro & Partners bought a new position in shares of Aetna in the fourth quarter worth approximately $158,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.88% of the company’s stock.

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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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