Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) was the target of a large increase in short interest during the month of February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 4,422,017 shares, an increase of 41.9% from the February 15th total of 3,116,854 shares. Approximately 1.3% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,927,662 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days.
AET has been the subject of a number of research reports. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Aetna from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $179.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $195.00 price objective (up previously from $174.00) on shares of Aetna in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Argus lowered shares of Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $185.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Wells Fargo reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $208.00 price objective (up previously from $200.00) on shares of Aetna in a report on Monday, December 4th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aetna has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $189.50.
Shares of Aetna stock opened at $173.91 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $56,858.66, a P/E ratio of 30.25, a PEG ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 0.65. Aetna has a 52-week low of $124.84 and a 52-week high of $194.40. The company has a current ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 27th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, April 12th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, April 11th. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 34.78%.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cetera Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Aetna by 3.3% during the 4th quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC now owns 8,715 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,573,000 after buying an additional 279 shares during the period. Hartford Investment Management Co. grew its position in Aetna by 0.4% in the 3rd quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. now owns 79,409 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,627,000 after purchasing an additional 291 shares during the period. Essex Financial Services Inc. grew its position in Aetna by 2.2% in the 4th quarter. Essex Financial Services Inc. now owns 13,787 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,487,000 after purchasing an additional 298 shares during the period. Violich Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Aetna by 0.4% in the 3rd quarter. Violich Capital Management Inc. now owns 70,375 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,190,000 after purchasing an additional 299 shares during the period. Finally, FCA Corp TX grew its position in Aetna by 2.5% in the 3rd quarter. FCA Corp TX now owns 12,530 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,992,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. 87.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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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