Anthem (ANTM) Rating Increased to Buy at Jefferies Group

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Jefferies Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday. The firm currently has a $211.00 target price on the stock, down from their previous target price of $235.00. Jefferies Group’s target price indicates a potential downside of 12.02% from the stock’s current price. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Anthem’s Q3 2018 earnings at $3.25 EPS and Q4 2018 earnings at $1.85 EPS.

ANTM has been the subject of several other research reports. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating on shares of Anthem in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. BidaskClub upgraded Anthem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Anthem from $201.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Bank of America upped their price target on Anthem from $249.00 to $254.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Anthem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $205.60.

Shares of Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) opened at $239.82 on Friday. Anthem has a 52 week low of $144.44 and a 52 week high of $240.40. The company has a current ratio of 1.51, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53. The company has a market capitalization of $61,580.00, a P/E ratio of 21.68, a PEG ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 0.79.

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

Anthem declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, December 7th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. increased its position in shares of Anthem by 0.5% in the second quarter. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. now owns 1,070 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,000 after buying an additional 5 shares in the last quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. increased its position in shares of Anthem by 1.4% in the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL increased its position in shares of Anthem by 0.6% in the second quarter. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL now owns 2,540 shares of the company’s stock valued at $478,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. increased its position in shares of Anthem by 11.1% in the second quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. now owns 1,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $209,000 after buying an additional 145 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sii Investments Inc. WI increased its position in shares of Anthem by 5.4% in the second quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 2,860 shares of the company’s stock valued at $537,000 after buying an additional 147 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.41% of the company’s stock.

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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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