Today Aetna (AET) Hits New Lifetime High

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Aetna ( AET) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Aetna as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • AET has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $300.8 million.
  • AET has traded 119,643 shares today.
  • AET is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on AET:

Aetna Inc. operates as a health care benefits company in the United States. It operates through three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 0.8%. AET has a PE ratio of 19. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Aetna has been 2.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Aetna has a market cap of $41.2 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. The stock has a beta of 0.31 and a short float of 1.3% with 1.76 days to cover. Shares are up 30.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Aetna as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 45.65% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. 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 20.9% 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 ($7.40 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 16.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $665.50 million to $777.50 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

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