Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $212.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 11.74% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Anthem’s shares have outperformed the industry in last one year. The company’s diverse product portfolio has helped in improving underwriting results. Anthem’s strategic acquisitions, divestitures and ACO arrangements further pave the way for long-term growth. Its rising level of medical membership continues to boost the top line. The company’s strong capital position backs effective capital deployment. Its frequent share buyback programs and regular dividend payments primarily aim at enhancing shareholders’ value. The company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 earnings being revised upward over the last 60 days. Followed by strong results in first half of 2017, the company has raised the earnings and revenue guidance for 2017.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Anthem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Bank of America Corporation boosted their target price on Anthem from $224.00 to $228.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 target price on shares of Anthem in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Morgan Stanley started coverage on Anthem in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $196.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $204.00 target price on shares of Anthem in a research report on Sunday, August 20th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. Anthem has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $183.44.

Shares of Anthem (NYSE ANTM) opened at 189.49 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $49.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.92 and a beta of 0.70. Anthem has a 1-year low of $114.85 and a 1-year high of $198.98. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $191.70 and its 200-day moving average price is $181.52.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $3.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.23 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $22.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.25 billion. Anthem had a return on equity of 12.93% and a net margin of 3.24%. Anthem’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $3.33 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Anthem will post $11.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, 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 transaction of $1,745,538.75. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 26,571 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,081,703.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Julie A. Hill sold 524 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.80, for a total value of $99,979.20. Following the sale, the director now owns 36,924 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,045,099.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 30,776 shares of company stock valued at $6,007,143. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. FTB Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Anthem by 11.1% during the 1st quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 668 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after purchasing an additional 67 shares during the period. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in Anthem during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. boosted its stake in Anthem by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares during the period. Westside Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Anthem by 33.6% during the 1st quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 795 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. Finally, Harding Loevner LP bought a new stake in Anthem during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $151,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.69% of the company’s stock.

Anthem Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

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