Aetna Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (AET)

Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) saw some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock investors purchased 7,575 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 271% compared to the typical volume of 2,043 call options.

In other news, Chairman Mark T. Bertolini sold 103,547 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $140.79, for a total value of $14,578,382.13. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 659,888 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $92,905,631.52. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Shawn M. Guertin sold 29,602 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $129.35, for a total value of $3,829,018.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 44,880 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,805,228. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 160,177 shares of company stock valued at $22,440,789. 1.14% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Ibex Wealth Advisors increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Ibex Wealth Advisors now owns 15,651 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,918,000 after buying an additional 526 shares during the period. Davis Selected Advisers increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 161.7% in the fourth quarter. Davis Selected Advisers now owns 3,937,198 shares of the company’s stock worth $488,252,000 after buying an additional 2,432,885 shares during the period. Pacad Investment Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 1,160.0% in the fourth quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. now owns 36,516 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,528,000 after buying an additional 33,618 shares during the period. Capital Guardian Trust Co. increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 6.2% in the fourth quarter. Capital Guardian Trust Co. now owns 698,165 shares of the company’s stock worth $86,579,000 after buying an additional 40,712 shares during the period. Finally, Columbus Circle Investors increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 358.8% in the first quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 51,831 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,611,000 after buying an additional 40,535 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.88% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on AET shares. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 target price (up previously from $145.00) on shares of Aetna in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a research note on Wednesday, May 17th. ValuEngine raised Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Cleveland Research raised Aetna from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Aetna in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Aetna has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $147.99.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) traded down 0.09% on Tuesday, hitting $151.60. The stock had a trading volume of 1,328,714 shares. Aetna has a 12-month low of $104.59 and a 12-month high of $152.35. The firm has a market cap of $50.29 billion, a PE ratio of 46.23 and a beta of 0.48. The company’s 50 day moving average is $144.60 and its 200 day moving average is $131.31.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $2.71 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.36 by $0.35. Aetna had a return on equity of 17.75% and a net margin of 1.84%. The company had revenue of $15.17 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.39 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.30 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Aetna will post $8.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 28th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, July 13th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 11th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.32%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 62.31%.

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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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