Stock Traders Purchase Large Volume of Anthem Call Options (ANTM)

Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) saw some unusual options trading on Friday. Stock investors acquired 6,926 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 2,085% compared to the typical volume of 317 call options.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $215.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on Anthem in a report on Monday, October 16th. They issued a “market perform” rating for the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $204.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a report on Sunday, August 20th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $202.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Anthem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 15th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $201.07.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) opened at $232.34 on Monday. Anthem has a 52-week low of $140.50 and a 52-week high of $236.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $59,655.62, a P/E ratio of 18.65, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 1.51 and a quick ratio of 1.51.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the 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 firm had revenue of $22.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.10 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.45 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Anthem will post 11.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 21st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 5th will be given a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.21%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 4th. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.32%.

In related news, Director Julie A. Hill sold 1,602 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $215.70, for a total transaction of $345,551.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 35,322 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,618,955.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Joseph Swedish sold 21,125 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.63, for a total value of $4,027,058.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 44,830 shares of company stock valued at $9,018,328 over the last 90 days. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its position in Anthem by 73.9% during the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 6,012 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,131,000 after buying an additional 2,555 shares in the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC increased its position in Anthem by 18,713.0% during the 2nd quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 94,065 shares of the company’s stock valued at $500,000 after buying an additional 93,565 shares in the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its position in Anthem by 12.8% during the 2nd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 13,835 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,603,000 after buying an additional 1,572 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its position in Anthem by 3.5% during the 2nd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 380,652 shares of the company’s stock valued at $71,498,000 after buying an additional 12,776 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Spark Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Anthem during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $1,787,000. 87.27% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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