Reviewing Anthem (ANTM) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

Anthem (NYSE: ANTM) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) are both large-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, profitability, earnings and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.7% of Anthem shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.2% of UnitedHealth Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of Anthem shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of UnitedHealth Group shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Anthem pays an annual dividend of $2.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. UnitedHealth Group pays an annual dividend of $3.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Anthem pays out 26.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. UnitedHealth Group pays out 35.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Anthem has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years and UnitedHealth Group has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

Anthem has a beta of 0.7, suggesting that its stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, UnitedHealth Group has a beta of 0.63, suggesting that its stock price is 37% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Anthem and UnitedHealth Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Anthem 3.24% 12.93% 4.96%
UnitedHealth Group 4.32% 21.52% 6.81%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Anthem and UnitedHealth Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Anthem $88.03 billion 0.55 $5.75 billion $10.56 17.38
UnitedHealth Group $192.60 billion 0.98 $15.57 billion $8.54 22.92

UnitedHealth Group has higher revenue and earnings than Anthem. Anthem is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than UnitedHealth Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Anthem and UnitedHealth Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Anthem 0 9 9 0 2.50
UnitedHealth Group 0 0 21 0 3.00

Anthem presently has a consensus price target of $180.06, indicating a potential downside of 1.87%. UnitedHealth Group has a consensus price target of $203.20, indicating a potential upside of 3.81%. Given UnitedHealth Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe UnitedHealth Group is more favorable than Anthem.

Summary

UnitedHealth Group beats Anthem on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Anthem

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. It also provides an array of managed care services to self-funded customers, including claims processing, underwriting, stop loss insurance, actuarial services, provider network access, medical cost management, disease management, wellness programs and other administrative services. It provides an array of specialty and other insurance products and services, such as dental, vision, life and disability insurance benefits and radiology benefit management.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is a health and well-being company. The Company operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx. It conducts its operations through two business platforms: health benefits operating under UnitedHealthcare and health services operating under Optum. UnitedHealthcare provides healthcare benefits to an array of customers and markets, and includes UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, UnitedHealthcare Community & State, and UnitedHealthcare Global businesses. Optum is a health services business serving the healthcare marketplace, including payers, care providers, employers, governments, life sciences companies and consumers, through its OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx businesses. OptumInsight provides services, technology and healthcare solutions to participants in the healthcare industry. OptumRx provides retail network contracting, purchasing and clinical solutions.

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