Royal Bank of Canada Reaffirms Buy Rating for Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) in a report published on Thursday, January 4th.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. B. Riley restated a buy rating on shares of Anthem in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. Jefferies Group upped their target price on shares of Anthem from $204.00 to $211.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Anthem from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $207.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on shares of Anthem in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. They set an outperform rating and a $234.00 target price for the company. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and set a $215.00 target price on shares of Anthem in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $206.60.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) traded up $1.11 on Thursday, hitting $235.00. 1,520,365 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,357,933. The company has a market capitalization of $60,340.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.25, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.79. Anthem has a fifty-two week low of $144.34 and a fifty-two week high of $237.00. 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 posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.65 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 revenue was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.45 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Anthem will post 11.97 EPS for the current year.

Anthem declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, December 7th that allows the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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

In other news, SVP Ronald W. Penczek sold 978 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $217.42, for a total value of $212,636.76. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 1,222 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $265,687.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Joseph Swedish sold 21,125 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $209.85, for a total transaction of $4,433,081.25. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 87,668 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,397,129.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 59,259 shares of company stock valued at $13,194,281 in the last quarter. 0.36% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. WBI Investments Inc. increased its stake 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 stake 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 stake 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 stake 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, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in Anthem by 15.6% in the 3rd quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 8,219 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,561,000 after buying an additional 1,109 shares during the period. 87.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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