Aetna Inc (AET) Short Interest Update

Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 4,422,017 shares, a growth of 41.9% from the February 15th total of 3,116,854 shares. Currently, 1.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,927,662 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.3 days.

AET has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Aetna from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $179.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $195.00 target price (up previously from $174.00) on shares of Aetna in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. Argus lowered shares of Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $185.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. Wells Fargo restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $208.00 target price (up previously from $200.00) on shares of Aetna in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aetna has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $189.50.

Aetna (NYSE AET) opened at $173.91 on Friday. Aetna has a 52 week low of $124.84 and a 52 week high of $194.40. The firm has a market cap of $57,100.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.65.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The company reported $1.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 the consensus estimate of $14.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.08 earnings per share. Aetna’s quarterly revenue was down 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Aetna will post 11.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, April 12th will be paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, April 11th. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.06%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AET. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Aetna by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 40,267 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,264,000 after purchasing an additional 2,833 shares in the last quarter. OTA Financial Group L.P. bought a new stake in Aetna in the fourth quarter valued at $4,204,000. KCM Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Aetna by 39.8% in the fourth quarter. KCM Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,281 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,494,000 after purchasing an additional 2,358 shares in the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its stake in Aetna by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 72,290 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,040,000 after purchasing an additional 3,542 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV increased its stake in Aetna by 3,728.2% in the fourth quarter. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV now owns 8,269 shares of the company’s stock valued at $554,000 after purchasing an additional 8,053 shares in the last quarter. 87.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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