Morgan Stanley Boosts Anthem, Inc. (ANTM) Price Target to $215.00

Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) had its price objective raised by Morgan Stanley from $201.00 to $215.00 in a report published on Thursday morning. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Anthem from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a buy rating and issued a $220.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on Anthem in a report on Monday, October 16th. They issued a market perform rating on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC increased their price objective on Anthem from $204.00 to $211.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, October 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Anthem from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $193.18.

Shares of Anthem (NYSE ANTM) opened at 211.34 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $190.63 and a 200 day moving average price of $187.04. The firm has a market cap of $55.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.98 and a beta of 0.71. Anthem has a one year low of $114.85 and a one year high of $212.00.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.65 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.10 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $2.45 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Anthem will post $11.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 21st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 5th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 4th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.32%. Anthem’s payout ratio is 25.32%.

In other news, insider Joseph Swedish sold 21,125 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.00, for a total transaction of $4,161,625.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 87,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,270,596. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Thomas C. Zielinski sold 9,127 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $191.25, for a total value of $1,745,538.75. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 26,571 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,081,703.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 51,901 shares of company stock valued at $10,034,202 over the last ninety days. 0.36% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Anthem by 177.3% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,269,249 shares of the company’s stock worth $238,783,000 after buying an additional 811,537 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its stake in shares of Anthem by 3.3% during the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,026,741 shares of the company’s stock worth $193,161,000 after buying an additional 32,900 shares in the last quarter. Deschutes Portfolio Strategy LLC purchased a new position in shares of Anthem during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $273,000. WBI Investments Inc. raised its stake in shares of Anthem by 637.6% during 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Endurant Capital Management LP raised its stake in shares of Anthem by 99.6% during the 1st quarter. Endurant Capital Management LP now owns 56,098 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,277,000 after buying an additional 27,998 shares in the last quarter. 88.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

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