News stories about Aetna (NYSE:AET) have been trending somewhat positive recently, according to Accern Sentiment. The research group scores the sentiment of press coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Aetna earned a coverage optimism score of 0.15 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news coverage about the company an impact score of 44.5242111188926 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

Here are some of the media stories that may have impacted Accern Sentiment Analysis’s analysis:

Shares of Aetna (NYSE:AET) traded down $1.16 on Monday, reaching $181.57. 3,404,907 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,596,665. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.53. Aetna has a twelve month low of $116.04 and a twelve month high of $192.37. The stock has a market cap of $59,590.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.90, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.61.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.06 by $0.39. Aetna had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 21.84%. The business had revenue of $14.99 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.12 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.07 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Aetna will post 9.78 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 26th. Investors of record on Thursday, January 11th will be issued a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 10th. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 36.97%.

AET has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $185.00 price objective (up from $165.00) on shares of Aetna in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aetna from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $174.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Citigroup upped their target price on shares of Aetna from $183.00 to $197.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Jefferies Group upped their target price on shares of Aetna from $163.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and set a $187.00 target price on shares of Aetna in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $175.19.

In other Aetna news, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of Aetna stock in a transaction on Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.91, for a total transaction of $2,472,527.61. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now directly owns 64,261 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,404,498.51. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of Aetna stock in a transaction on Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $162.85, for a total transaction of $1,675,400.80. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,563 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,465,734.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.14% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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About Aetna

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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