Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning.

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. However, weak public exchange business remains a major area of concern. Also, rising level of debt continues to weigh on margins.”

ANTM has been the topic of several other research reports. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on shares of Anthem in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $196.00 target price on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Anthem from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Bank of America Corporation lifted their price objective on shares of Anthem from $224.00 to $228.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price objective on shares of Anthem from $173.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an overweight rating and set a $215.00 price objective (up previously from $210.00) on shares of Anthem in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $183.44.

Shares of Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) opened at 186.59 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $191.81 and its 200 day moving average is $181.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $49.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.64 and a beta of 0.70. Anthem has a 1-year low of $114.85 and a 1-year high of $198.98.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $3.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate 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 net margin of 3.24% and a return on equity of 12.93%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $3.33 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Anthem will post $11.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. This is an increase from Anthem’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.50%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.52%.

In other news, Director Julie A. Hill sold 524 shares of Anthem 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 directly owns 36,924 shares in the company, valued at $7,045,099.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Thomas C. Zielinski sold 9,127 shares of Anthem stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were 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 $5,081,703.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 30,776 shares of company stock worth $6,007,143 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in shares of Anthem by 177.3% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,269,249 shares of the company’s stock valued at $238,783,000 after purchasing an additional 811,537 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its holdings in shares of Anthem by 3.3% in the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,026,741 shares of the company’s stock valued at $193,161,000 after purchasing an additional 32,900 shares during the last quarter. Deschutes Portfolio Strategy LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Anthem in the second quarter valued at approximately $273,000. Endurant Capital Management LP raised its holdings in shares of Anthem by 99.6% in the first quarter. Endurant Capital Management LP now owns 56,098 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,277,000 after purchasing an additional 27,998 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Union Bankshares Corp raised its holdings in shares of Anthem by 1.4% in the second quarter. Union Bankshares Corp now owns 3,619 shares of the company’s stock valued at $681,000 after purchasing an additional 49 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.69% of the company’s stock.

About Anthem

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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