Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage issued a neutral rating and a $243.00 price objective on the stock.

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on ANTM. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Anthem from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. BidaskClub raised Anthem from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $215.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $160.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a report on Thursday, September 21st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $202.00 price objective on shares of Anthem in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $206.60.

Shares of Anthem (NYSE ANTM) traded up $4.13 on Wednesday, hitting $234.34. The stock had a trading volume of 1,345,404 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,261,799. The firm has a market cap of $60,169.14, a P/E ratio of 21.19, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a quick ratio of 1.51, a current ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53. Anthem has a fifty-two week low of $142.04 and a fifty-two week high of $236.39.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.65 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.40 by $0.25. The business had revenue of $22.10 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.10 billion. Anthem had a return on equity of 12.97% and a net margin of 3.35%. Anthem’s revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.45 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Anthem will post 11.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Anthem announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, December 7th that permits the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 21st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 5th were given a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 4th. Anthem’s payout ratio is 25.32%.

In related news, SVP Ronald W. Penczek sold 978 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $217.42, for a total value of $212,636.76. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 1,222 shares in the company, valued at approximately $265,687.24. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Joseph Swedish sold 21,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $209.85, for a total transaction of $4,433,081.25. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 87,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,397,129.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 44,830 shares of company stock valued at $9,880,228. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. First Interstate Bank increased its position in shares of Anthem by 1,910.7% in the 3rd quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 563 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 535 shares in the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Anthem in the 2nd quarter valued at $128,000. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. increased its position in shares of Anthem by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Harding Loevner LP bought a new stake in shares of Anthem in the 2nd quarter valued at $151,000. Finally, Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Anthem in the 3rd quarter valued at $154,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.41% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

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