Back to top

Analyst Blog

At the recently held investors conference the U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc. (AET - Analyst Report) reiterated its full year 2013 operating earnings guidance of $5.40 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full year 2013 earnings also stands at $5.40 per share. 
The company also gave other guidance for 2013. It continues to project net dividends from subsidiaries of approximately $1.1 billion and deployable capital of approximately $500 million.
For 2013, operating expense ratio is projected to be 18% – 18.5%, an improvement over 2012. The improvement is expected to come on the back of growth in total revenue which is expected to surpass the growth rate in operating expenses.
The health insurer pretax operating margin is projected to be 8%, plus or minus 25 basis points, consistent with its high single-digit target. The projected downward pressure on pretax operating margin is expected to come from a mix shift in the crediting of favorable experience to its Large Group Insured customers, partially offset by operating expense leverage.
In aggregate Aetna expects to see operating earnings of approximately $1.75 billion in 2013, roughly flat with 2012 levels.
For 2013 the company is focusing on six strategic goals for long term growth. These include diversification of business, growth of Large group business, developing its government franchise business, successfully integrating and acquiring Coventry Health Care, Inc.,, enhancing its accountable care strategy as well as expanding its small group and individual business.    
Aetna retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). 
Another health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH - Analyst Report) reaffirmed the previously issued earnings guidance for 2013. It continues to expect revenues of $123 billion to $124 billion and net earnings in the range of $5.25 to $5.50 per share.  Yet another player CIGNA Corp. (CI - Analyst Report) announced delivery of operating earnings between $1.7–$1.83 billion or $5.85–$6.30 per share in 2013.

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
PLANAR SYST… PLNR 4.44 +5.21%
BITAUTO HOL… BITA 81.71 +5.12%
CTPARTNERS… CTP 16.66 +4.26%
CHINA BIOLO… CBPO 47.91 +3.30%
MALLINCKROD… MNK 72.94 +2.85%