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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Aetna (AET) will release its 2015 third quarter earnings results before the market open on Thursday morning.

Analysts are expecting the health insurance provider to report a year over year increase in both earnings per share and revenue for the most recent quarter.

The company has been forecast by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters to report earnings of $1.77 per share on revenue of $15.22 billion for the September ended period.

Aetna's net income came in at $1.67 per share on revenue of $14.72 billion for the 2014 third quarter.

Shares of Aetna are down by 0.55% to $110.24 in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday.

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Aetna announced on July 3 of this year that it will acquire fellow insurance provider Humana (HUM) in a $37 billion deal.

"The complementary combination brings together Humana's growing Medicare Advantage business with Aetna's diversified portfolio and commercial capabilities to create a company serving the most seniors in the Medicare Advantage program and the second-largest managed care company in the United States," the two companies said in a joint statement announcing the deal.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates AETNA INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate AETNA INC (AET) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 36.84% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 32.36% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AET should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • AETNA INC has improved earnings per share by 36.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AETNA INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.66 versus $5.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.53 versus $5.66).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Health Care Providers & Services industry average. The net income increased by 33.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $548.80 million to $731.80 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, AETNA INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AET