Coventry Health Care (NYSE: CVH) and Aetna (NYSE:AET) are both healthcare companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings, profitability, risk and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Coventry Health Care and Aetna’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Coventry Health Care N/A N/A N/A
Aetna 2.93% 21.84% 5.80%

Dividends

Aetna pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Coventry Health Care does not pay a dividend. Aetna pays out 37.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Coventry Health Care and Aetna, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Coventry Health Care 0 0 0 0 N/A
Aetna 0 9 12 0 2.57

Aetna has a consensus price target of $175.71, suggesting a potential downside of 4.24%.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Coventry Health Care and Aetna’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Coventry Health Care N/A N/A N/A $3.29 N/A
Aetna $63.16 billion 0.95 $2.27 billion $5.41 33.91

Aetna has higher revenue and earnings than Coventry Health Care. Coventry Health Care is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Aetna, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.8% of Aetna shares are held by institutional investors. 1.1% of Aetna shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Aetna beats Coventry Health Care on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Coventry Health Care

Coventry Health Care, Inc. (Coventry) is a diversified national managed healthcare company based in Bethesda, Maryland. Coventry operates health plans, insurance companies, network rental and workers’ compensation services companies. The Company operates in three segments: Health Plan and Medical Services, Specialized Managed Care, and Workers’ Compensation. On January 1, 2012 the Company completed its acquisition of Children’s Mercy’s Family Health Partners, a Medicaid health plan. In May 2013, Aetna Inc announced it has completed its acquisition of Coventry Health Care, Inc.

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. The Health Care segment consists of medical, pharmacy benefit management services, dental, behavioral health and vision plans offered on both an Insured basis and an employer-funded basis, and emerging businesses products and services. The Group Insurance segment includes group life insurance and group disability products. Its products are offered on an Insured basis.

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