The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Aetna met expectations on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased and GAAP earnings per share dropped significantly.
Margins dropped across the board.
Aetna booked revenue of $8.96 billion. The six analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ hoped for a top line of $8.93 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 16% higher than the prior-year quarter's $8.57 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $0.94. The 20 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.96 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.57 for Q4 were 44% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.02 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 23.9%, 570 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 4.2%, 360 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.9%, 240 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $9.51 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.43.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $39.73 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.54.
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 597 members out of 644 rating the stock outperform, and 47 members rating it underperform. Among 224 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 213 give Aetna a green thumbs-up, and 11 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Aetna is outperform, with an average price target of $52.80.
Is Aetna the best health care stock for you? Learn how to maximize your investment income and "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks," including one above-average health care logistics company. Click here for instant access to this free report.
- Add Aetna to My Watchlist.
Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.