Zacks: Analysts Expect Aetna (AET) to Announce $3.12 Earnings Per Share

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Wall Street brokerages expect that Aetna (NYSE:AET) will report earnings per share (EPS) of $3.12 for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Six analysts have issued estimates for Aetna’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $2.94 and the highest is $3.32. Aetna reported earnings per share of $3.42 during the same quarter last year, which suggests a negative year over year growth rate of 8.8%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings report on Thursday, August 2nd.

On average, analysts expect that Aetna will report full-year earnings of $11.06 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $10.80 to $11.55. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will post earnings of $12.21 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $11.83 to $12.84. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Aetna.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The company reported $3.19 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.97 by $0.22. The company had revenue of $15.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.32 billion. Aetna had a return on equity of 21.42% and a net margin of 5.76%. Aetna’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.71 EPS.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the company. ValuEngine cut Aetna from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 1st. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price target on Aetna from $208.00 to $194.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 14th. Cantor Fitzgerald raised Aetna from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Aetna from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 3rd. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $196.36.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Employees Retirement System of Texas increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 23.3% during the fourth quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 79,381 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,320,000 after buying an additional 15,000 shares during the period. Water Island Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Aetna by 224.6% during the fourth quarter. Water Island Capital LLC now owns 150,787 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,200,000 after buying an additional 104,337 shares during the period. Gotham Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Aetna by 5.7% during the fourth quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 46,880 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,457,000 after purchasing an additional 2,536 shares in the last quarter. Farallon Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Aetna during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $940,734,000. Finally, Leucadia National Corp bought a new stake in shares of Aetna during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $29,404,000. 84.92% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE AET traded up $0.58 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $189.73. 1,468 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,812,226. The stock has a market cap of $62.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.32, a P/E/G ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. Aetna has a 52-week low of $149.69 and a 52-week high of $194.40.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 25th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 24th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.05%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 20.28%.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Aetna (NYSE:AET)

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