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VOL. 41 | NO. 7 | Friday, February 17, 2017

Aetna fattens shareholder payout after Humana deal fails

By The Associated Press

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Aetna is doubling the quarterly dividend it pays shareholders and buying back stock as it regroups from its failed attempt to acquire rival health insurer Humana.

Aetna Inc. said Friday its board declared a quarterly cash dividend of 50 cents per share and also authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $4 billion worth of the company's stock.

The Hartford, Connecticut, insurer had said Tuesday that it was calling off plans to buy Humana Inc. for roughly $34 billion. That deal had already been rejected by a judge after federal regulators had sued last summer to stop it and a similar combination of the insurers Anthem and Cigna.

Aetna had paused its dividend increases after announcing the Humana bid in the summer of 2015.

The new dividend will be payable on April 28 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 13.

Shares of Aetna dropped more than 3 percent, or $4.22, to $125.27 on Friday, while broader indexes inched higher.

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