Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Anthem’s shares have outperformed the industry in last one year. Tthe company’s diverse product portfoliohas  helped in improving underwriting results. Anthem’s strategic acquisitions, divestures and ACO arrangements further paves the way for long-term growth. The company’s strong capital position backs effective capital deployment. Frequent share buybacks and regular dividend payments primarily aim at enhancing shareholders’ value. During the most recently reported quarter its earnings per share not only surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also rose year over year on higher revenues. However rising interest expenses associated to its high-debt levels and weak public exchange business bothers.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $204.00 price target on shares of Anthem in a research note on Sunday, August 20th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $136.00 price target on shares of Anthem in a research note on Thursday, May 11th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target 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. BidaskClub cut shares of Anthem from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation upped their price target 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. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $183.83.

Anthem (NYSE ANTM) opened at 192.68 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $50.59 billion, a PE ratio of 18.22 and a beta of 0.73. The company’s 50 day moving average is $190.92 and its 200-day moving average is $178.75. Anthem has a 1-year low of $114.85 and a 1-year high of $196.48.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $3.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.23 by $0.14. Anthem had a net margin of 3.24% and a return on equity of 12.93%. The business had revenue of $22.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.25 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $3.33 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Anthem will post $11.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.70 per share. This is a boost from Anthem’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.45%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. Anthem’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.62%.

In other Anthem news, Director Julie A. Hill sold 524 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.80, for a total transaction of $99,979.20. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 36,924 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $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 the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $191.25, for a total transaction of $1,745,538.75. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly 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 13,199 shares of company stock worth $2,494,862 over the last ninety days. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. FTB Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Anthem by 11.1% in the first quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 668 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 67 shares in the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors purchased a new stake in Anthem during the second quarter valued at about $128,000. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. raised its position in shares of Anthem by 1.4% in the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Anthem by 33.6% in the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 795 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Harding Loevner LP bought a new position in shares of Anthem during the second quarter valued at $151,000. 89.48% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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