Investors Hit the Sell Button on These Stocks Following Earnings Reports

Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for Aetna Inc. rose to $372.6 million ($1.02 per share) vs. $215.6 million (53 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 72.8% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 0.4% to $8.57 billion from the year earlier quarter. Aetna reported adjusted net income of 97 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of 98 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $8.49 billion.

“Our excellent operating performance caps off a strong year for Aetna, our customers and our shareholders,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna chairman, CEO and president. “During 2011, we made strategic investments in acquisitions and technologies that created a unique set of capabilities to both extend Aetna’s core health business and poise us to capitalize on exciting new consumer and provider opportunities emerging in the marketplace.”

Competitors to Watch: UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT), Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG), Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC), HealthSpring, Inc (NYSE:HS), and Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM).

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. fell to $288.9 million (77 cents per share) vs. $297.5 million (75 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 2.9% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 12.7% to $3.13 billion from the year earlier quarter. TMO reported adjusted net income of $1.18 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of $1.15 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.08 billion.

“We were pleased to close 2011 on a strong note by delivering excellent revenue and earnings growth in the fourth quarter,” said Marc N. Casper, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “This solid performance capped another successful year, highlighted by 20% growth in adjusted EPS.”

Competitors to Watch: PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE:PKI), Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX), Bruker Corporation (NASDAQ:BRKR), Beckman Coulter, Inc. (NYSE:BEC), Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO), Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BIO), CareFusion Corporation (NYSE:CFN), Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT), Teleflex Incorporated (NYSE:TFX), and Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com