Aetna Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Aetna (NYSE:AET) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Thursday, January 31, 2013. Aetna is a health insurance company. It provides its customers, ranging from individuals to employer groups to governmental units, with traditional and consumer-directed health care benefits products and related services, such as medical, pharmaceutical, dental, behavioral health, group life, and disability plans.

Aetna Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 96 cents per share, a decline of 1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 0.8% versus last year to $5.13.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 21 cents, coming in at net income of $1.55 per share against an estimate of profit of. The company also topped expectations in the second quarter.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $8.97 billion.

Analyst Ratings: With 11 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and seven rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 1.8% to $499.2 million ($1.47 a share) from $490.4 million ($1.30 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 3.3% to $9.08 billion from $8.79 billion.

Here’s how Aetna traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

aet

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 3.1% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 5.6% in the first quarter and 8.2% in the second quarter before increasing again in the third quarter.

Heading into this earnings announcement, the company is trying build on some positive momentum from last quarter’s income increase. After net income declines in the first quarter and second quarter, profit rose in the third quarter.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)