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Aetna Shares Gain on Outlook (AET)

Shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET), a diversified healthcare benefits company offering a range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, edged higher in trading today after the company backed its outlook for 2012 and also gave guidance for 2013.

The Hartford, Connecticut-based company expects earnings of $5.40 per share in 2013. Revenue for 2013 is expected to rise 9%, while membership is expected to grow slightly to around 18.4 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast AET’s 2013 earnings at $5.52 per share and revenue at $38.92 billion.

For 2012, the company continues to expect earnings to come in at $5.10 per share on revenue of $35.5 million, compared to consensus forecast of earnings of $5.15 per share and revenue of $35.36 billion.

For the third quarter of 2012, Aetna had reported operating earnings of $523.2 million, or $1.55 per share, up 11% over the third quarter of 2012. The company’s net income for the third quarter of 2012 was $499.2 million, or $1.47 per share.

AET’s revenue for the third quarter of 2012 was $8.90 billion, compared to $8.40 billion reported for the same period in the previous year. The increase in revenue was mainly the result of higher Health Care premiums in each of the company’s businesses.

AET shares hit an intra-day high of $46.71 in trading today before finishing the day 3.21% higher at $45.91 on above average volume of 7.57 million.

Year-to-date, AET shares have gained 8.82%, compared to a gain of 13.58% for the S&P 500.



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