Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan, which allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares on Thursday, December 7th, EventVestor reports. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on ANTM shares. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Anthem from $196.00 to $201.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $204.00 target price on shares of Anthem in a research note on Sunday, August 20th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Anthem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Anthem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 price target on shares of Anthem in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $201.07.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) traded up $0.93 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $223.64. 1,222,300 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,602,143. The firm has a market cap of $57,183.13, a P/E ratio of 17.87, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a current ratio of 1.51. Anthem has a 12 month low of $140.50 and a 12 month high of $236.39.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.65 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.40 by $0.25. Anthem had a net margin of 3.35% and a return on equity of 12.97%. The company had revenue of $22.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.10 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.45 EPS. Anthem’s quarterly revenue was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Anthem will post 11.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 21st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 5th will be given a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 4th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.25%. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.32%.

In other news, Director Julie A. Hill sold 1,602 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $215.70, for a total value of $345,551.40. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 35,322 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,618,955.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph Swedish sold 21,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.63, for a total transaction of $4,027,058.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 65,955 shares of company stock valued at $13,907,287 in the last three months. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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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