Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Anthem (ANTM) to Buy

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Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $274.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 12.72% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Anthem's prudent acquisitions, improving net investment income, divestitures and ACO arrangements pave the way for long-term growth of the company. Its diverse product portfolio has also helped improving its underwriting results. Following the acquisition of America's 1st Choice and HealthSun Anthem, Anthem emerged as the third largest Medicare Advantage plan in the fast-growing Florida market. The company’s solid medical membership should boost its revenues. Its strong capital position backs effective capital deployment via share buybacks and regular dividends. The company’s shares have witnessed its 2018 and 2019 earnings estimates move upward. However, reduction in individual membership from exits in the ACA-compliant marketplace dragged the top line. Shares of the company have underperformed the growth of its industry in the past year. Loss incurred on public exchange business and rising debt continue to bother.”

ANTM has been the topic of several other research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Anthem from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. Barclays started coverage on Anthem in a report on Thursday, March 8th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $270.00 price objective on the stock. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on Anthem from $280.00 to $284.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $332.00 price objective on Anthem and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Anthem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 1st. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $250.57.

Anthem opened at $243.08 on Wednesday, according to Marketbeat Ratings. Anthem has a twelve month low of $179.40 and a twelve month high of $267.95. The company has a current ratio of 1.49, a quick ratio of 1.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. The stock has a market cap of $62.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.19, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.84.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The company reported $5.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $4.83 by $0.58. Anthem had a return on equity of 12.77% and a net margin of 4.60%. The business had revenue of $22.34 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.55 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $4.68 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Anthem will post 15.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Brian T. Griffin sold 59,421 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $224.41, for a total value of $13,334,666.61. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 25,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,749,159.79. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Julie A. Hill sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $233.00, for a total value of $233,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 35,075 shares in the company, valued at $8,172,475. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 61,421 shares of company stock worth $13,798,767 over the last three months. 0.31% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ANTM. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. grew its stake in shares of Anthem by 93.1% in the fourth quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 2,997 shares of the company’s stock worth $676,000 after purchasing an additional 1,445 shares during the last quarter. Mariner Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Anthem in the fourth quarter worth about $286,000. Baird Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Anthem by 172.3% in the fourth quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,324 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,873,000 after purchasing an additional 5,267 shares during the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Anthem by 51.3% during the 4th quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 124,525 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,020,000 after acquiring an additional 42,224 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Tennessee Treasury Department boosted its position in Anthem by 179.6% during the 4th quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 300,875 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,699,000 after acquiring an additional 193,283 shares in the last quarter. 87.48% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Anthem Company Profile

Anthem, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as a health benefits company in the United States. It operates through three segments: Commercial & Specialty Business, Government Business, and Other. The company offers a spectrum of network-based managed care health benefit plans to large and small group, individual, Medicaid, and Medicare markets.

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Analyst Recommendations for Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

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