Shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) shot up 3% on Thursday . The company traded as high as $120.68 and last traded at $119.96, with a volume of 4,679,007 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $116.49.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on AET. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Aetna in a research report on Thursday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 5th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their target price on Aetna from $140.00 to $144.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, April 29th. Cleveland Research began coverage on Aetna in a research report on Friday, April 8th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $120.00 target price for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating on shares of Aetna in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $134.81.

The company has a 50 day moving average of $119.33 and a 200-day moving average of $111.64. The company has a market cap of $41.48 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.82.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $2.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.07. The company earned $15.69 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.46 billion. Aetna’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.39 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Aetna Inc. will post $8.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 29th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, July 14th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 12th.

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

Several large investors have modified their holdings of the company. BHF Kleinwort Benson Group S.A. raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 28.8% in the fourth quarter. BHF Kleinwort Benson Group S.A. now owns 306,739 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,165,000 after buying an additional 68,617 shares in the last quarter. Tredje AP fonden raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 23,271 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,516,000 after buying an additional 365 shares in the last quarter. Twin Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 11.7% in the fourth quarter. Twin Capital Management Inc. now owns 66,630 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,204,000 after buying an additional 6,980 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Aetna by 13.9% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,198,641 shares of the company’s stock worth $129,597,000 after buying an additional 146,538 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mutual of America Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter.

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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