Anthem (ANTM) Lifted to “Overweight” at Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies upgraded shares of Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a report published on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has $151.00 price objective on the stock.

ANTM has been the subject of several other reports. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Anthem from $201.00 to $215.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Anthem from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $212.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. BidaskClub raised shares of Anthem from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $220.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $160.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Anthem presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $206.60.

Shares of Anthem (ANTM) opened at $234.34 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $60,170.00, a PE ratio of 21.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 0.79. Anthem has a 1 year low of $142.04 and a 1 year high of $236.39. The company has a current ratio of 1.51, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.65 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.40 by $0.25. The business had revenue of $22.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.10 billion. Anthem had a net margin of 3.35% and a return on equity of 12.97%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.45 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Anthem will post 11.97 EPS for the current year.

Anthem declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, December 7th that authorizes the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 21st. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 5th were given a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 4th. Anthem’s payout ratio is currently 25.32%.

In related news, insider Joseph Swedish sold 21,125 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $209.85, for a total value of $4,433,081.25. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 87,668 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,397,129.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Julie A. Hill sold 1,602 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $215.70, for a total transaction of $345,551.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 35,322 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,618,955.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 44,830 shares of company stock worth $9,880,228. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. WBI Investments Inc. increased its holdings in Anthem by 637.6% in the 2nd quarter. WBI Investments Inc. now owns 56,233 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,579,000 after buying an additional 48,609 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its holdings in Anthem by 1.9% in the 3rd quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 46,610 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,850,000 after buying an additional 873 shares during the period. British Airways Pensions Investment Management Ltd increased its holdings in Anthem by 9.4% in the 3rd quarter. British Airways Pensions Investment Management Ltd now owns 191,646 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,380,000 after buying an additional 16,403 shares during the period. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA increased its holdings in Anthem by 10.0% in the 3rd quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 8,214 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,560,000 after buying an additional 750 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its holdings in Anthem by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 61,946 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,653,000 after buying an additional 1,221 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 87.41% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

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