Westpac Banking Corp Boosts Stake in Aetna Inc. (AET)
Westpac Banking Corp lifted its holdings in Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) by 168.2% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 56,726 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 35,573 shares during the period. Westpac Banking Corp’s holdings in Aetna were worth $9,020,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Intact Investment Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Aetna in the 3rd quarter worth about $223,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Aetna in the 3rd quarter worth about $6,499,000. Honeywell International Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Aetna by 26.3% in the 3rd quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 192,612 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,627,000 after buying an additional 40,100 shares during the last quarter. First Business Financial Services Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Aetna by 13.6% in the 3rd quarter. First Business Financial Services Inc. now owns 3,550 shares of the company’s stock worth $564,000 after buying an additional 425 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Aetna by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 472,096 shares of the company’s stock worth $75,068,000 after buying an additional 7,648 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.45% of the company’s stock.
In related news, President Karen S. Lynch sold 15,271 shares of Aetna stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.91, for a total value of $2,472,527.61. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 64,261 shares in the company, valued at $10,404,498.51. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Margaret M. Mccarthy sold 10,288 shares of Aetna stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 33,563 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,465,734.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several equities analysts recently commented on AET shares. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $185.00 price target (up from $165.00) on shares of Aetna in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of Aetna from $175.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Aetna from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Aetna from $172.00 to $179.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC upped their price target on shares of Aetna from $163.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 13th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Aetna currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $166.09.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping 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 company had revenue of $14.99 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.12 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.07 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 5.0% on a year-over-year basis.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, October 12th were paid a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 11th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.16%. Aetna’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.04%.
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.
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