Anthem Target of Unusually High Options Trading (ANTM)

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Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) saw unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors bought 6,771 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 835% compared to the average volume of 724 call options.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Anthem from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $273.00 to $368.00 in a report on Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on shares of Anthem from $284.00 to $311.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $296.00 target price on shares of Anthem in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and set a $275.00 target price on shares of Anthem in a research note on Wednesday, July 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Anthem from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $275.00 to $290.00 in a research note on Monday, July 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $278.38.

Shares of NYSE ANTM opened at $270.89 on Friday. Anthem has a twelve month low of $179.40 and a twelve month high of $272.36. The firm has a market cap of $69.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.50, a PEG ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a quick ratio of 1.52, a current ratio of 1.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 25th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 10th will be paid a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 7th. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.92%.

In other news, CAO Ronald W. Penczek sold 763 shares of Anthem stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $265.56, for a total transaction of $202,622.28. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 1,334 shares in the company, valued at $354,257.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig E. Samitt sold 19,541 shares of Anthem stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $246.68, for a total transaction of $4,820,373.88. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 20,857 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,145,004.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 24,052 shares of company stock worth $6,019,935. 0.31% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Calamos Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Anthem in the second quarter valued at $684,000. M&T Bank Corp increased its stake in Anthem by 4.4% in the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 116,530 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,601,000 after purchasing an additional 4,946 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. increased its stake in Anthem by 4.2% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. now owns 13,057 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,108,000 after purchasing an additional 528 shares in the last quarter. Unigestion Holding SA bought a new stake in Anthem in the second quarter valued at $44,968,000. Finally, Focused Investors LLC increased its stake in Anthem by 0.4% in the second quarter. Focused Investors LLC now owns 705,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $167,835,000 after purchasing an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. 86.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Anthem

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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