Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) shares 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 trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $116.49.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on AET. Zacks Investment Research lowered Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 5th. Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating on shares of Aetna in a report on Saturday, April 30th. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Aetna in a report on Thursday, June 2nd. FBR & Co restated a “hold” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Aetna in a report on Friday, April 29th. Finally, Cleveland Research started coverage on Aetna in a report on Friday, April 8th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $120.00 price target on the stock. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $134.81.

The firm has a market capitalization of $42.23 billion and a PE ratio of 18.14. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $119.43 and a 200 day moving average price of $111.77.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, July 14th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 12th.

In other Aetna news, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 39,169 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.45, for a total value 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Mark T. Bertolini sold 33,510 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 3rd. The shares were 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 in the company, valued at approximately $56,611,032. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds recently modified their holdings of the stock. Morgan Stanley increased 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 valued at $129,597,000 after buying an additional 146,538 shares in the last quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD now owns 1,137,671 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,010,000 after buying an additional 38,157 shares in the last quarter. Deere & Co. increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Deere & Co. now owns 36,085 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,902,000 after buying an additional 2,678 shares in the last quarter. Alpine Woods Capital Investors LLC increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 76.5% in the fourth quarter. Alpine Woods Capital Investors LLC now owns 10,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,135,000 after buying an additional 4,550 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tredje AP fonden increased 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 valued at $2,516,000 after buying an additional 365 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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