Traders sold shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) on strength during trading hours on Friday. $52.20 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $113.38 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $61.18 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Aetna had the 7th highest net out-flow for the day. Aetna traded up $3.20 for the day and closed at $160.84

AET has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. BidaskClub lowered Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Zacks Investment Research lowered Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Aetna from $157.00 to $163.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their target price on Aetna from $162.00 to $171.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Aetna from $172.00 to $179.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $161.83.

The company has a market cap of $53.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.70 and a beta of 0.53. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $158.13 and its 200-day moving average is $149.69.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported $3.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.34 by $1.08. Aetna had a net margin of 2.52% and a return on equity of 20.52%. The business had revenue of $15.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.34 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.21 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Aetna Inc. will post $9.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, October 12th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.24%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 11th. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.67%.

In related news, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.85, for a total value of $1,675,400.80. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,563 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,465,734.55. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.91, for a total transaction of $2,472,527.61. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now directly owns 64,261 shares in the company, valued at $10,404,498.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. State of Tennessee Treasury Department lifted its stake in Aetna by 26.3% in the 2nd quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 557,814 shares of the company’s stock valued at $84,692,000 after buying an additional 116,280 shares in the last quarter. Banque Pictet & Cie SA purchased a new position in Aetna in the 2nd quarter valued at about $10,567,000. Pictet & Cie Europe SA purchased a new position in Aetna in the 2nd quarter valued at about $2,269,000. NBT Bank N A NY purchased a new position in Aetna in the 2nd quarter valued at about $215,000. Finally, Eaton Vance Management lifted its stake in Aetna by 18.3% in the 2nd quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 1,050,685 shares of the company’s stock valued at $159,526,000 after buying an additional 162,502 shares in the last quarter. 89.52% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

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