Anthem (NYSE: ANTM) and Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) are both large-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.7% of Anthem shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.4% of Centene Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of Anthem shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.0% of Centene Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Anthem 3.24% 12.93% 4.96%
Centene Corporation 1.72% 14.62% 4.24%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Anthem and Centene Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Anthem $88.03 billion 0.58 $5.75 billion $10.56 18.32
Centene Corporation $43.65 billion 0.38 $2.19 billion $4.55 21.27

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Anthem and Centene Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Anthem 0 8 9 0 2.53
Centene Corporation 1 4 12 0 2.65

Anthem presently has a consensus price target of $186.19, indicating a potential downside of 3.74%. Centene Corporation has a consensus price target of $92.50, indicating a potential downside of 4.41%. Given Anthem’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Anthem is more favorable than Centene Corporation.

Risk & Volatility

Anthem has a beta of 0.71, meaning that its share price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Centene Corporation has a beta of 0.68, meaning that its share price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Anthem pays an annual dividend of $2.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Centene Corporation does not pay a dividend. Anthem pays out 26.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Centene Corporation has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Summary

Anthem beats Centene Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

Centene Corporation Company Profile

Centene Corporation is a healthcare company. The Company provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. The Company operates through two segments: Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Company’s Managed Care segment provides health plan coverage to individuals, through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Long Term Care, Foster Care, dual-eligible individuals (Duals) and the Supplemental Security Income Program, also known as the Aged, Blind or Disabled Program (ABD), Medicare, and Health Insurance Marketplace. Its Specialty Services segment consists of its specialty companies offering a range of healthcare services and products to state programs, correctional facilities, healthcare organizations, employer groups and other commercial organizations, as well as to its own subsidiaries.

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