Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) by 23.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 955,157 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 179,096 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned approximately 0.29% of Aetna worth $145,021,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. First Manhattan Co. raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 3.6% in the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 4,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $496,000 after buying an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 2.0% in the first quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 2,423 shares of the company’s stock worth $309,000 after buying an additional 47 shares in the last quarter. Oakwood Capital Management LLC CA purchased a new stake in shares of Aetna during the first quarter worth approximately $3,883,000. Financial Architects Inc raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 89.9% in the first quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 1,715 shares of the company’s stock worth $219,000 after buying an additional 812 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 93.2% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 6,886 shares of the company’s stock worth $878,000 after buying an additional 3,322 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.57% of the company’s stock.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE AET) opened at 157.70 on Friday. Aetna Inc. has a 52 week low of $104.59 and a 52 week high of $161.69. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $155.55 and its 200 day moving average price is $142.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $52.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.01 and a beta of 0.54.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported $3.42 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.34 by $1.08. Aetna had a return on equity of 20.52% and a net margin of 2.52%. The firm had revenue of $15.52 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.34 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.21 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Aetna Inc. will post $9.54 EPS for the current year.

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AET has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Cleveland Research upgraded Aetna from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a research report on Friday, May 12th. Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $162.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on Aetna from $150.00 to $158.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $168.00 target price (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Aetna in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $157.99.

In other Aetna news, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 27,028 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.23, for a total transaction of $4,033,388.44. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,563 shares in the company, valued at $5,008,606.49. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Aetna

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aetna (NYSE:AET)

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