Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Aetna (AET) to Hold
Aetna (NYSE:AET) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Aetna have outperformed the industry's growth in six months. 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 concerns. With respect to third quarter results, Aetna’s earnings of $2.96 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.2% and was up 21% year over year.”
AET has been the subject of a number of other reports. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $204.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a report on Tuesday, October 30th. Citigroup increased their price target on Aetna from $202.00 to $206.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Piper Jaffray Companies lowered Aetna from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $212.00 to $206.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 30th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on Aetna from $207.00 to $205.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aetna currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $204.18.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The company reported $2.96 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.83 by $0.13. Aetna had a return on equity of 20.78% and a net margin of 5.99%. The firm had revenue of $15.48 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.45 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Aetna will post 11.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AET. Intellectus Partners LLC increased its holdings in shares of Aetna by 1,290.5% during the third quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC now owns 584 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,000 after buying an additional 542 shares in the last quarter. Palo Capital Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Aetna during the third quarter worth $122,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Aetna during the third quarter worth $122,000. Kaizen Advisory LLC increased its holdings in shares of Aetna by 143.9% during the second quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 766 shares of the company’s stock worth $141,000 after buying an additional 452 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CSat Investment Advisory L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Aetna during the second quarter worth $162,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.34% of the company’s stock.
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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