Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday morning, reports. They currently have $293.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Anthem shares have outperformed its industry in a year's time. The company's prudent acquisitions and collaborations complement its organic growth. Its consistently growing top line paves the way for long-term growth. A diverse product portfolio has also helped the company enhance its underwriting results. Anthem’s strong capital position backs effective capital deployment via share buybacks and regular dividends. A strong outlook for 2019 and growing membership instills investor's confidence in the company. However, the company has been suffering from high benefit costs and selling, general and administrative expense. Rising level of debt is another concern.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on ANTM. Citigroup upgraded Anthem from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $325.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, May 10th. Barclays boosted their price objective on Anthem from $316.00 to $317.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Anthem from $391.00 to $359.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Thursday, April 25th. SunTrust Banks reduced their price objective on Anthem to $300.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, UBS Group assumed coverage on Anthem in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. They set a buy rating and a $294.00 price objective for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Anthem has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $324.87.

NYSE ANTM traded up $2.75 during trading on Thursday, reaching $266.57. 32,312 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,203,455. The company has a market cap of $66.52 billion, a PE ratio of 16.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 0.85. The company has a quick ratio of 1.61, a current ratio of 1.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. Anthem has a fifty-two week low of $220.80 and a fifty-two week high of $317.99.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The company reported $6.03 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $5.86 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $24.39 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $24.31 billion. Anthem had a return on equity of 14.99% and a net margin of 4.23%. The business’s revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $5.41 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Anthem will post 19.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 25th. Investors of record on Monday, June 10th will be paid a $0.80 dividend. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 7th. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 20.14%.

In other Anthem news, EVP Gloria M. Mccarthy sold 7,701 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $303.73, for a total transaction of $2,339,024.73. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 0.17% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Anthem during the fourth quarter worth $28,000. Destination Wealth Management acquired a new position in shares of Anthem during the first quarter worth $31,000. Lee Financial Co acquired a new stake in Anthem in the first quarter valued at $32,000. Liberty Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Anthem in the first quarter valued at $36,000. Finally, Cable Hill Partners LLC increased its holdings in Anthem by 77.5% in the first quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 126 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 55 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.88% of the company’s stock.

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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