Traders Purchase Large Volume of Call Options on Aetna (AET)
Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Traders purchased 16,802 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,130% compared to the average daily volume of 1,366 call options.
Several equities analysts recently issued reports on AET shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on shares of Aetna in a report on Monday, October 16th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $175.00 price target for the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $175.00 price target on shares of Aetna in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Jefferies Group boosted their price target on shares of Aetna from $165.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Citigroup boosted their price target on shares of Aetna from $183.00 to $197.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Aetna has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $185.94.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in shares of Aetna by 1.8% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,407,172 shares of the company’s stock worth $700,784,000 after buying an additional 78,272 shares in the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Aetna by 5.9% during the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,487,570 shares of the company’s stock worth $236,538,000 after buying an additional 82,540 shares in the last quarter. Orbimed Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Aetna by 57.3% during the third quarter. Orbimed Advisors LLC now owns 1,396,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $222,057,000 after buying an additional 508,600 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in shares of Aetna by 1.9% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,391,889 shares of the company’s stock worth $251,083,000 after buying an additional 26,293 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Aetna by 2.6% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,235,475 shares of the company’s stock worth $222,868,000 after buying an additional 30,799 shares in the last quarter. 87.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The company reported $1.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.07. Aetna had a net margin of 3.15% and a return on equity of 21.50%. The business had revenue of $14.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.08 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Aetna will post 10.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 26th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 11th were issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, January 10th. Aetna’s payout ratio is 34.78%.
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Aetna Company Profile
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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