Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Anthem Inc (ANTM) to Post $5.12 Earnings Per Share

Equities research analysts predict that Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) will report earnings of $5.12 per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Six analysts have issued estimates for Anthem’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $5.94 and the lowest estimate coming in at $4.66. Anthem reported earnings of $4.68 per share in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 9.4%. The business is expected to announce its next earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Anthem will report full-year earnings of $15.09 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $15.03 to $15.20. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will report earnings of $16.61 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $16.11 to $18.00. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that cover Anthem.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The company reported $1.29 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.25 by $0.04. Anthem had a return on equity of 12.29% and a net margin of 4.27%. The company had revenue of $22.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.17 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.76 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on ANTM shares. B. Riley reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Anthem in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Anthem in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on Anthem in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $234.00 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine raised Anthem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Finally, Bank of America upped their price target on Anthem from $249.00 to $254.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Anthem has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $230.80.

Anthem (ANTM) traded up $1.86 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $234.08. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 332,196 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,679,291. The stock has a market cap of $60,343.85, a PE ratio of 16.24, a PEG ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 0.83. The company has a current ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. Anthem has a 52 week low of $158.66 and a 52 week high of $267.95.

Anthem declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, December 7th that authorizes the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 23rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be paid a $0.75 dividend. This is a positive change from Anthem’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 8th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.28%. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio is presently 19.50%.

In other Anthem news, EVP Gloria M. Mccarthy sold 14,429 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $229.68, for a total value of $3,314,052.72. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 30,667 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,043,596.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Joseph Swedish sold 64,403 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $244.37, for a total value of $15,738,161.11. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 84,346 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,611,632.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 167,457 shares of company stock worth $39,862,398 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Viking Global Investors LP increased its stake in shares of Anthem by 190.5% in the 4th quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 2,537,576 shares of the company’s stock valued at $570,980,000 after purchasing an additional 1,664,112 shares during the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH increased its stake in Anthem by 66.0% in the fourth quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 1,603,619 shares of the company’s stock valued at $360,830,000 after acquiring an additional 637,439 shares during the last quarter. Farallon Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Anthem by 291.9% in the fourth quarter. Farallon Capital Management LLC now owns 823,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $185,183,000 after acquiring an additional 613,000 shares during the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new position in Anthem in the third quarter valued at $101,758,000. Finally, Atlantic Trust Group LLC bought a new position in Anthem in the third quarter valued at $88,799,000. 85.30% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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