Aetna (NYSE:AET) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $228.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 10.93% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Aetna have outperformed the industry's growth in six months. Moreover, it has witnessed its 2018 earnings move upward over the past seven days. The recent sale of its U.S. Group Life and Disability business will enable the company to focus on its core growth areas. It is on track to be acquired by CVS Health and has announced that it will sell Medicare Part D business. The DoJ's approval takes the deal toward closure, which is scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2018. Its revenues suffered a decline in 2017, improved in the first nine months of 2018 but should remain subdued in the coming quarters. Declining membership and rising expenses are some other concerns.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on AET. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on shares of Aetna from $202.00 to $207.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Aetna from $202.00 to $206.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Cantor Fitzgerald downgraded shares of Aetna from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $202.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, August 22nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies downgraded shares of Aetna from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $212.00 to $206.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 30th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $204.55.

Aetna stock traded up $1.53 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $205.53. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 54,587 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,514,919. The company has a market cap of $67.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.75 and a beta of 0.71. Aetna has a 12 month low of $166.88 and a 12 month high of $210.90. The company has a current ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The company reported $2.96 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.83 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $15.48 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.40 billion. Aetna had a net margin of 5.99% and a return on equity of 20.78%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $2.45 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Aetna will post 11.38 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Capital International Investors acquired a new stake in shares of Aetna during the 3rd quarter worth about $2,549,565,000. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Aetna by 17.2% during the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 9,063,094 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,838,448,000 after buying an additional 1,328,607 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in shares of Aetna by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,803,810 shares of the company’s stock worth $697,999,000 after buying an additional 28,520 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in shares of Aetna by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,319,092 shares of the company’s stock worth $673,273,000 after buying an additional 9,581 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PointState Capital LP lifted its stake in shares of Aetna by 111.2% during the 2nd quarter. PointState Capital LP now owns 2,193,062 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,427,000 after buying an additional 1,154,818 shares during the last quarter. 82.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Aetna

Aetna Inc operates as a health care benefits company in the United States. It operates through three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. The Health Care segment offers medical, pharmacy benefit management service, dental, behavioral health, and vision plans on an insured and employer-funded basis.

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