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Anthem (ANTM) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

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In the latest trading session, Anthem (ANTM - Free Report) closed at $278.13, marking a +0.23% move from the previous day. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.05%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 1.02%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.66%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the health insurer had gained 4.3% over the past month. This has outpaced the Medical sector's loss of 1.73% and the S&P 500's loss of 2.76% in that time.

ANTM will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $4.62, up 8.71% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $24.84 billion, up 9.36% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $19.29 per share and revenue of $100.16 billion. These totals would mark changes of +21.4% and +9.66%, respectively, from last year.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for ANTM. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant within the past month. ANTM is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Digging into valuation, ANTM currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 14.39. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 14.29, so we one might conclude that ANTM is trading at a premium comparatively.

Investors should also note that ANTM has a PEG ratio of 0.98 right now. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Medical - HMOs was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.03 at yesterday's closing price.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 16, putting it in the top 7% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

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