Shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $118.87, but opened at $119.18. Aetna shares last traded at $120.41, with a volume of 1,322,908 shares trading hands.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Aetna in a research report on Sunday, July 10th. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on Aetna in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $154.00 price objective on the stock. Leerink Swann restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Aetna in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on Aetna in a research note on Thursday, June 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $142.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating on shares of Aetna in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aetna presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $134.25.

The firm has a market capitalization of $41.59 billion and a PE ratio of 17.87. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $119.20 and a 200-day moving average of $111.48.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $2.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.07. The firm earned $15.69 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.46 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.39 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Aetna Inc. will post $8.05 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, July 14th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 12th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.84%.

In other news, CEO Mark T. Bertolini sold 33,510 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.00, for a total transaction of $3,820,140.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 496,588 shares in the company, valued at $56,611,032. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 39,169 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.45, for a total transaction of $4,482,892.05. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 56,240 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,436,668. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of the company. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in shares of Aetna by 13.9% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,198,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $129,597,000 after buying an additional 146,538 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Aetna by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 38,882 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,204,000 after buying an additional 361 shares during the period. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd boosted its position in Aetna by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 103,735 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,216,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares during the period. BOKF NA boosted its position in Aetna by 47.0% in the fourth quarter. BOKF NA now owns 25,879 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,798,000 after buying an additional 8,275 shares during the period. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP boosted its position in Aetna by 377.4% in the fourth quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 15,846 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,713,000 after buying an additional 12,527 shares during the period.

Aetna Inc is a diversified healthcare benefits company. The Company operates through three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance and Large Case Pensions. The Health Care segment’s products and services consist of medical, pharmacy benefit management services, dental, behavioral health and vision plans offered on both an insured basis and an employer-funded, or administrative services contact, basis and emerging businesses products and services, such as accountable care solutions (ACS).

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