Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) – Equities researchers at Leerink Swann boosted their Q3 2016 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Aetna in a note issued to investors on Monday. Leerink Swann analyst A. Gupte now expects that the firm will earn $2.04 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $2.03. Leerink Swann currently has a “Outperform” rating on the stock. Leerink Swann also issued estimates for Aetna’s Q4 2016 earnings at $1.50 EPS.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $2.21 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.12 by $0.09. Aetna had a return on equity of 16.44% and a net margin of 3.89%. The company had revenue of $15.95 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.69 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.05 EPS. Aetna’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

Earnings History and Estimates for Aetna (NYSE:AET)

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on AET. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $120.00 price objective on shares of Aetna in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. FBR & Co reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on shares of Aetna in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. Wolfe Research cut shares of Aetna from an “outperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Aetna in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $132.43.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) traded up 3.043% on Tuesday, reaching $111.791. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,770,747 shares. Aetna has a 52 week low of $92.42 and a 52 week high of $123.57. The firm has a market capitalization of $39.22 billion, a PE ratio of 16.382 and a beta of 0.54. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $114.71 and its 200-day moving average is $115.74.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, October 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 11th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 14.73%.

In related news, insider Shawn M. Guertin sold 45,328 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.21, for a total value of $5,448,878.88. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 44,883 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,395,385.43. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Jeffrey E. Garten sold 7,100 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $116.51, for a total transaction of $827,221.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in shares of Aetna by 16.3% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 5,839,197 shares of the company’s stock valued at $713,141,000 after buying an additional 818,913 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Aetna by 40.5% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 2,373,143 shares of the company’s stock valued at $266,622,000 after buying an additional 684,597 shares during the period. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Aetna during the second quarter valued at $74,955,000. Brown Advisory Inc. increased its position in shares of Aetna by 6,277.0% in the second quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 612,515 shares of the company’s stock valued at $74,807,000 after buying an additional 602,910 shares during the period. Finally, Bridger Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aetna during the first quarter valued at $62,926,000. Institutional investors own 91.94% of the company’s stock.

About Aetna

Aetna Inc is a diversified healthcare benefits company. The Company operates through three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance and Large Case Pensions. The Health Care segment’s products and services consist of medical, pharmacy benefit management services, dental, behavioral health and vision plans offered on both an insured basis and an employer-funded, or administrative services contact, basis and emerging businesses products and services, such as accountable care solutions (ACS).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AET

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