Anthem, Inc. (ANTM) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Anthem’s shares have outperformed the industry in last one year. The company’s diverse product portfolio has helped in improving underwriting results. Anthem’s strategic acquisitions, divestitures and ACO arrangements further pave the way for long-term growth. Its rising level of medical membership continues to boost the top line. The company’s strong capital position backs effective capital deployment. Its frequent share buyback programs and regular dividend payments primarily aim at enhancing shareholders’ value. The company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 earnings being revised upward over the last 60 days. Followed by strong results in first half of 2017, the company has raised the earnings and revenue guidance for 2017. However, weak public exchange business remains a major area of concern. Also, rising level of debt continues to weigh on margins.”

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on ANTM. Morgan Stanley started coverage on Anthem in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. They set an equal weight rating and a $196.00 target price on the stock. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $205.00 target price on shares of Anthem in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Credit Suisse Group started coverage on Anthem in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. They set a neutral rating and a $195.00 target price on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Anthem from $173.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation lifted their target price on Anthem from $224.00 to $228.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 14th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. Anthem has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $183.94.

Shares of Anthem (ANTM) opened at 189.24 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $49.69 billion, a PE ratio of 17.90 and a beta of 0.70. Anthem has a 52 week low of $114.85 and a 52 week high of $198.98. The company has a 50-day moving average of $191.75 and a 200-day moving average of $181.33.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $3.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.23 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $22.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.25 billion. Anthem had a return on equity of 12.93% and a net margin of 3.24%. Anthem’s revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $3.33 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Anthem will post $11.83 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. This is a boost from Anthem’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. Anthem’s payout ratio is 26.52%.

In other Anthem news, Director Julie A. Hill sold 524 shares of Anthem stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $190.80, for a total transaction of $99,979.20. Following the transaction, the director now owns 36,924 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,045,099.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Joseph Swedish sold 21,125 shares of Anthem stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.00, for a total value of $4,161,625.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 87,668 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,270,596. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 30,776 shares of company stock worth $6,007,143. Company insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. USA Financial Portformulas Corp purchased a new position in Anthem during the 2nd quarter valued at about $3,724,000. Toronto Dominion Bank grew its stake in Anthem by 23.2% during the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 95,759 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,013,000 after acquiring an additional 18,034 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its stake in Anthem by 85.0% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 5,122 shares of the company’s stock valued at $964,000 after acquiring an additional 2,354 shares in the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in Anthem during the 2nd quarter valued at about $744,000. Finally, Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL grew its stake in Anthem by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL now owns 2,540 shares of the company’s stock valued at $478,000 after acquiring an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. 87.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Anthem Company Profile

Anthem, Inc is a health benefits company. The Company operates through three segments: Commercial and Specialty Business, Government Business and Other. It offers a spectrum of network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid and Medicare markets. Its managed care plans include preferred provider organizations; health maintenance organizations; point-of-service plans; indemnity plans and other hybrid plans, including consumer-driven health plans; and hospital only and limited benefit products.

Analyst Recommendations for Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

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