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Aetna (NYSE:AET) is expected to report Q4 earnings on Friday, February 4 before the market open with a conference call scheduled for 8:30am ET.

Guidance

Analysts are looking for EPS of 62c on revenue of $8.4B. The consensus range is 57c-71c for EPS, and $8.194B-$8.64B for revenue, according to First Call. Positive catalysts for Aetna's Q4 results may be seen coming from the company's expansion into the Medicaid market, appropriate pricing, cost control and by a continued reduction in utilization of health care services. Negatives for Q4 may be seen coming from medical loss ratio pressure and other fall out from health care reform.

Analyst Views

On January 6, Deutsche Bank upgraded the managed care sector to Positive from Neutral, citing strengthening commercial pricing trends, valuations, and the GOP gaining momentum in Washington. The firm maintained its Buy rating on Aetna. On January 20, Citadel initiated Aetna with a Neutral and a $37 price target.

Source: Earnings Preview: Aetna