WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG) and Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) are both mid-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares WellCare Health Plans and Anthem’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
WellCare Health Plans 1.66% 14.91% 4.12%
Anthem 3.24% 12.93% 4.96%

Dividends

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for WellCare Health Plans and Anthem, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
WellCare Health Plans 0 9 7 0 2.44
Anthem 0 8 9 0 2.53

WellCare Health Plans presently has a consensus target price of $180.93, indicating a potential upside of 0.23%. Anthem has a consensus target price of $190.27, indicating a potential downside of 2.27%. Given WellCare Health Plans’ higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe WellCare Health Plans is more favorable than Anthem.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares WellCare Health Plans and Anthem’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
WellCare Health Plans $15.36 billion 0.52 $623.20 million $5.69 31.73
Anthem $88.03 billion 0.58 $5.75 billion $10.56 18.44

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

Risk and Volatility

WellCare Health Plans has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Anthem has a beta of 0.71, indicating that its share price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

97.7% of WellCare Health Plans shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.7% of Anthem shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.5% of WellCare Health Plans shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Anthem shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Anthem beats WellCare Health Plans on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About WellCare Health Plans

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. is a managed care company. The Company focuses on government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs), to families, children, seniors and individuals with medical needs. The Company operates through three segments: Medicaid Health Plans, Medicare Health Plans and Medicare PDPs. As of December 31, 2016, it served approximately 3.9 million members in 50 states and the District of Columbia. As of December 31, 2016, it operated Medicaid health plans in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina. As of December 31, 2016, it offered MA coordinated care plans (CCPs) in certain counties in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

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. 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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