FY2018 EPS Estimates for Anthem Inc (ANTM) Lifted by Analyst

Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) – Analysts at Leerink Swann lifted their FY2018 earnings per share estimates for Anthem in a research note issued on Thursday. Leerink Swann analyst A. Gupte now expects that the company will post earnings per share of $15.10 for the year, up from their prior estimate of $13.00. Leerink Swann has a “Outperform” rating on the stock. Leerink Swann also issued estimates for Anthem’s Q4 2018 earnings at $2.31 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $18.00 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $20.00 EPS.

ANTM has been the subject of a number of other reports. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Anthem from $201.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Anthem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $275.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on shares of Anthem from $260.00 to $275.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Anthem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $230.80.

Anthem (NYSE ANTM) traded up $3.90 during trading on Monday, hitting $238.73. 881,631 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,690,658. Anthem has a one year low of $156.81 and a one year high of $267.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a current ratio of 1.55. The firm has a market cap of $59,170.46, a P/E ratio of 16.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 0.83.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The company reported $1.29 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.25 by $0.04. Anthem had a net margin of 4.27% and a return on equity of 12.29%. The company had revenue of $22.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.17 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.76 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. purchased a new position in Anthem during the third quarter valued at approximately $101,758,000. Atlantic Trust Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Anthem during the third quarter valued at about $88,799,000. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its holdings in shares of Anthem by 24.1% during the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,925,522 shares of the company’s stock valued at $365,618,000 after acquiring an additional 373,500 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its holdings in shares of Anthem by 8.7% during the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 4,215,569 shares of the company’s stock valued at $800,452,000 after acquiring an additional 339,111 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Anthem by 23.8% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,254,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $238,251,000 after acquiring an additional 240,844 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.41% of the company’s stock.

In related news, EVP Gloria M. Mccarthy sold 14,429 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $229.68, for a total value of $3,314,052.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 30,667 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,043,596.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Joseph Swedish sold 64,403 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $244.37, for a total transaction of $15,738,161.11. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 84,346 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,611,632.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 167,457 shares of company stock valued at $39,862,398. Corporate insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

Anthem declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, December 7th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be given a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.26%. This is a boost from Anthem’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 8th. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 19.50%.

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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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