NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Aetna (AET) were advancing in pre-market trading on Thursday after announcing that 2016 third-quarter revenue and profit grew from a year ago. 

Before the market open, the Hartford, CT-based health insurer said that revenue rose 6% to $15.78 billion and topped analysts' estimates of $15.71 billion. The uptick came as higher health care premium yields and membership growth in Aetna's government business outweighed membership declines in the company's commercial insured products.

Adjusted earnings increased to $2.07 per share from $1.90 per share a year ago and beat the Thomson Reuters consensus of $2.03 per share. 

"Solid performance among our core businesses and a focus on managing general and administrative expenses have once again offset pressure from our [Affordable Care Act]-compliant products, resulting in a strong third quarter for the company and our shareholders," CFO Shawn Guertin said in a statement.

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Aetna in August announced that next year it will drop Affordable Care Act insurance in 11 of the 15 states where it currently offers coverage. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of A.

Aetna's strengths such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: AET

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.

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