News headlines about Aetna (NYSE:AET) have trended somewhat positive on Wednesday, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research firm identifies negative and positive media coverage by analyzing more than 20 million news and blog sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Aetna earned a media sentiment score of 0.17 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news headlines about the company an impact score of 46.9235995526969 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the near future.

These are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern’s rankings:

Shares of Aetna (NYSE:AET) traded down 0.44% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $155.58. 3,134,715 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $153.85 and a 200 day moving average price of $137.83. The firm has a market cap of $51.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.45 and a beta of 0.54. Aetna has a 12 month low of $104.59 and a 12 month high of $161.69.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported $3.42 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.34 by $1.08. The firm had revenue of $15.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.34 billion. Aetna had a net margin of 2.52% and a return on equity of 20.52%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.21 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Aetna will post $9.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 28th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, July 13th were paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, July 11th. Aetna’s payout ratio is 43.67%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on AET shares. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a research note on Monday, April 24th. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $168.00 price objective (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Aetna in a research note on Wednesday, May 17th. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Aetna in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $162.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $170.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $163.00 price objective (up previously from $157.00) on shares of Aetna in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $157.09.

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In other news, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 27,028 shares of Aetna stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $149.23, for a total transaction of $4,033,388.44. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,563 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,008,606.49. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Mark T. Bertolini sold 103,547 shares of Aetna stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.79, for a total transaction of $14,578,382.13. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 659,888 shares in the company, valued at approximately $92,905,631.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.14% of the company’s stock.

Aetna Company Profile

Aetna Inc is a diversified healthcare benefits company. The Company operates through three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance and Large Case Pensions. It offers a range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, medical management capabilities, Medicaid healthcare management services, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology (HIT) products and services.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Aetna (NYSE:AET)

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