Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) may be targeting a major health insurer as an acquisition prospect.
Wall Street analysts say the most likely candidate is Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), which is a leading player in the Medicare market. Aetna is also a major player in that market, but not as strong.
Humana shares soared Wednesday. The price of Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) shares also soared, suggesting that traders believe Aetna may have its eye on that provider.
The tipoff that a deal might be in the works came Monday, at a meeting at Aetna’s headquarters, according to Katie Bo Williams, a reporter at Healthcare Dive, a health care news site.