Latest Stocks: ValuEngine Upgrades Aetna Inc (AET) to Buy

Latest Stocks: ValuEngine Upgrades Aetna Inc (AET) to Buy

Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) was upgraded by ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday.

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $165.00 target price (up previously from $145.00) on shares of Aetna in a report on Tuesday, May 30th. Cowen and Company set a $170.00 target price on Aetna and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, May 27th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $155.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Bank of America Corp reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $168.00 target price (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Aetna in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on Aetna from $150.00 to $158.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. Eight research 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 target price of $146.27.

Shares of Aetna (NYSE:AET) opened at 148.00 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $49.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.14 and a beta of 0.61. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $139.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $129.84. Aetna has a 52-week low of $104.59 and a 52-week high of $148.70.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $2.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.36 by $0.35. The business had revenue of $15.17 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.39 billion. Aetna had a return on equity of 16.39% and a net margin of 3.58%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.30 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Aetna will post $8.99 earnings per share for the current year. The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 28th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, July 13th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 11th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.35%. Aetna’s payout ratio is 15.67%.

In other Aetna news, VP Francis S. Soistman, Jr. sold 6,607 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.98, for a total transaction of $871,991.86. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 23,454 shares in the company, valued at $3,095,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Mark T. Bertolini sold 103,547 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $140.79, for a total value of $14,578,382.13. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 659,888 shares in the company, valued at $92,905,631.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 139,756 shares of company stock worth $19,279,393. 0.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders. A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AET. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd purchased a new stake in Aetna during the fourth quarter worth approximately $124,000. FTB Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Aetna by 11.0% in the first quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 977 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 97 shares during the last quarter. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Aetna during the first quarter worth approximately $133,000. Horan Capital Management purchased a new stake in Aetna during the first quarter worth approximately $157,000. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in 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 buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.40% of the company’s stock.

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