Anthem (ANTM) Sets New 52-Week High After Analyst Upgrade

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Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating. Morgan Stanley now has a $368.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $273.00. Anthem traded as high as $268.28 and last traded at $266.29, with a volume of 60249 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $268.01.

ANTM has been the topic of a number of other reports. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on Anthem from $284.00 to $311.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday. ValuEngine upgraded Anthem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $296.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded Anthem from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $275.00 to $290.00 in a research note on Monday, July 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Anthem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. Anthem has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $278.38.

In other news, Director Julie A. Hill sold 248 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $267.01, for a total transaction of $66,218.48. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 34,827 shares in the company, valued at $9,299,157.27. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Craig E. Samitt sold 19,541 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $246.68, for a total value of $4,820,373.88. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 20,857 shares in the company, valued at $5,145,004.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 23,289 shares of company stock worth $5,817,312. Company insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ANTM. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Anthem during the first quarter worth about $103,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Anthem during the second quarter worth about $120,000. ClariVest Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Anthem by 884.4% during the first quarter. ClariVest Asset Management LLC now owns 630 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after purchasing an additional 566 shares in the last quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC grew its holdings in shares of Anthem by 139.2% during the second quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 598 shares of the company’s stock worth $142,000 after purchasing an additional 348 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Centaurus Financial Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Anthem during the second quarter worth about $142,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.71% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.52 and a quick ratio of 1.52. The firm has a market capitalization of $68.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.17, a PEG ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 0.90.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 25th. The company reported $4.25 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.16 by $0.09. Anthem had a return on equity of 13.28% and a net margin of 4.79%. The company had revenue of $22.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.66 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $3.37 earnings per share. Anthem’s revenue was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Anthem Inc will post 15.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 25th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 7th. Anthem’s payout ratio is 24.92%.

About Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

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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