Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $207.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 12.81% from the stock’s previous close.

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. Its 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.”

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on ANTM. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $204.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a research report on Sunday, August 20th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Anthem from $196.00 to $201.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $215.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Anthem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on shares of Anthem in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $195.00 price objective for the company. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $183.17.

Shares of Anthem (ANTM) traded up 1.13% on Wednesday, reaching $183.49. 3,070,549 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $48.18 billion, a PE ratio of 17.35 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 has a 50-day moving average price of $191.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $182.25.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $3.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.23 by $0.14. Anthem had a net margin of 3.24% and a return on equity of 12.93%. The company had revenue of $22.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.25 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $3.33 earnings per share. Anthem’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Anthem will post $11.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

WARNING: “Anthem, Inc. (ANTM) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research” was published by American Banking News and is the sole property of of American Banking News. If you are reading this piece on another website, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of United States and international copyright laws. The original version of this piece can be accessed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/09/20/anthem-inc-antm-lifted-to-buy-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

In other Anthem news, EVP Thomas C. Zielinski sold 9,127 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 26,571 shares in the company, valued at $5,081,703.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Julie A. Hill sold 524 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 completion of the sale, the director now owns 36,924 shares in the company, valued at $7,045,099.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 30,776 shares of company stock worth $6,007,143 over the last 90 days. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in Anthem in the second quarter valued at $128,000. Westside Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in Anthem by 33.6% in the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 795 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. lifted its stake in Anthem by 1.4% in the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc bought a new stake in Anthem in the first quarter valued at $149,000. Finally, Harding Loevner LP bought a new stake in Anthem in the second quarter valued at $151,000. Institutional investors own 87.65% 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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Anthem (ANTM)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

Receive News & Ratings for Anthem Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Anthem Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.