Today, Anthem Inc. (ANTM) Upgrade at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Anthem Inc. (ANTM) Upgrade at The Zacks Investment Research

Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Anthem’s earnings of $2.45 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.6% and  declined 10.3% year over year owing to higher expenses. Anthem’s wide product portfolio, divestitures, prudent capital management, modest cash position, strategic acquisitions and ACO arrangements position it for long-term growth. Anthem has recently received high Medicare Star Quality Ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). However, Anthem faces increasing regulatory hurdles from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over its proposed merger with Cigna and has been sued for the same. Though the company will challenge the case, the deal might fall apart and will lead to payment of $1.85 billion in severance charges to Cigna. Also, declining investment income, high debt levels and a weak public exchange business pose risks.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on ANTM. Jefferies Group reduced their price target on shares of Anthem from $157.00 to $156.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Citigroup Inc. reduced their price target on shares of Anthem from $172.00 to $162.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Barclays PLC reduced their price target on shares of Anthem from $158.00 to $151.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of Anthem in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They set a “hold” rating and a $133.00 price target on the stock. Finally, FBR & Co reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $155.00 price target on shares of Anthem in a research report on Monday, August 15th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $158.05.

Shares of Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) traded up 0.78% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $144.74. The company had a trading volume of 1,231,477 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $38.13 billion, a PE ratio of 16.99 and a beta of 0.57. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $127.61 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.41. Anthem has a 52-week low of $114.85 and a 52-week high of $148.00.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.47 by $0.02. Anthem had a net margin of 2.74% and a return on equity of 11.64%. The business earned $21.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $20.77 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $2.73 earnings per share. Anthem’s revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Anthem will post $10.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 21st. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.65 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 1st. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.80%. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio is presently 30.52%.

In other news, insider Joseph Swedish sold 24,513 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.48, for a total transaction of $3,222,969.24. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 87,381 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,488,853.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Ronald W. Penczek sold 820 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $138.29, for a total transaction of $113,397.80. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 1,320 shares in the company, valued at $182,542.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in Anthem by 0.3% in the third quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,208 shares of the company’s stock valued at $277,000 after buying an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Savant Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Anthem by 0.3% in the third quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 3,952 shares of the company’s stock valued at $495,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Alpha Windward LLC increased its stake in shares of Anthem by 0.7% in the third quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 1,661 shares of the company’s stock valued at $208,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. New York Life Trust Co. increased its stake in shares of Anthem by 2.0% in the third quarter. New York Life Trust Co. now owns 975 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Financial Architects Inc increased its stake in shares of Anthem by 2.7% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 839 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 89.13% of the company’s stock.

Anthem Company Profile

Anthem, Inc is a health benefit company. The Company offers a range of network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid and Medicare markets. The Company has three segments: Commercial and Specialty Business, Government Business and Other. The Company’s Commercial and Specialty Business, and Government Business segments offer managed care products, including preferred provider organizations (PPOs), health maintenance organizations (HMOs), traditional indemnity benefits and point-of-service (POS) plans, as well as various hybrid benefit plans, including consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), hospital only and limited benefit products.

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