Anthem (ANTM) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

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.”

A number of other analysts have also commented on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Anthem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 26th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on Anthem from $280.00 to $284.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Anthem from $266.00 to $269.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $332.00 price target on Anthem and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Anthem from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $254.08.

Anthem traded up $0.46, reaching $238.73, on Tuesday, MarketBeat reports. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 550,492 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,404,625. Anthem has a 1-year low of $179.40 and a 1-year 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 $60.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.83, a PEG ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 0.87.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The company reported $5.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.83 by $0.58. The firm had revenue of $22.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.55 billion. Anthem had a return on equity of 12.77% and a net margin of 4.60%. The company’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $4.68 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Anthem will post 15.39 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Anthem news, CEO Brian T. Griffin sold 59,421 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 owns 25,619 shares in the company, valued at $5,749,159.79. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Julie A. Hill sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 25th. The shares were 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 owns 35,075 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,172,475. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 61,421 shares of company stock worth $13,798,767 in the last quarter. 0.31% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Anthem in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $17,876,000. M&T Bank Corp grew its position in Anthem by 4.4% during the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 116,530 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,601,000 after buying an additional 4,946 shares in the last quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP acquired a new stake in Anthem during the fourth quarter worth approximately $4,253,000. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. grew its position in Anthem by 41.2% during the fourth quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 16,798 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,780,000 after buying an additional 4,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investors Research Corp acquired a new stake in Anthem during the fourth quarter worth approximately $203,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.50% of the company’s stock.

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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