Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, valuation, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Cigna Corporation and Anthem’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cigna Corporation 5.55% 17.40% 4.04%
Anthem 3.24% 12.93% 4.96%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.9% of Cigna Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.7% of Anthem shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of Cigna Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Anthem shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Cigna Corporation and Anthem’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cigna Corporation $40.53 billion 1.19 $4.21 billion $8.68 22.12
Anthem $88.03 billion 0.58 $5.75 billion $10.56 18.30

Anthem has higher revenue and earnings than Cigna Corporation. Anthem is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cigna Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Cigna Corporation has a beta of 0.43, indicating that its stock price is 57% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Anthem has a beta of 0.71, indicating that its stock price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Cigna Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.0%. Anthem pays an annual dividend of $2.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Cigna Corporation pays out 0.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Anthem pays out 26.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Anthem has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years. Anthem is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Cigna Corporation and Anthem, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cigna Corporation 0 1 12 0 2.92
Anthem 0 8 9 0 2.53

Cigna Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $188.23, suggesting a potential downside of 1.96%. Anthem has a consensus price target of $183.00, suggesting a potential downside of 5.29%. Given Cigna Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Cigna Corporation is more favorable than Anthem.

Summary

Cigna Corporation beats Anthem on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cigna Corporation Company Profile

Cigna Corporation (Cigna), together with its subsidiaries, is a health services company. The Company offers medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services. The Company’s segments include Global Health Care, Global Supplemental Benefits, Group Disability and Life, and Other Operations and Corporate. Its Global Health Care segment aggregates the commercial and Government operating segments. Its commercial operating segment encompasses the United States commercial and certain international healthcare businesses serving employers and their employees, other groups, and individuals. Its Global Supplemental Benefits segment offers supplemental health, life and accident insurance products in selected international markets and in the United States. Its Group Disability and Life segment provides group long-term and short-term disability insurance, group life insurance, accident and specialty insurance and related services.

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. It also provides an array of managed care services to self-funded customers, including claims processing, underwriting, stop loss insurance, actuarial services, provider network access, medical cost management, disease management, wellness programs and other administrative services. It provides an array of specialty and other insurance products and services, such as dental, vision, life and disability insurance benefits and radiology benefit management.

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