Anthem Shares Hit New High on Morgan Stanley Upgrade

ANTM stock has been a big winner in the past 12 months

by Emma Duncan

Published on Sep 5, 2018 at 10:25 AM

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Shares of health insurance stock Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) are up 1% at $266.44 in early trading -- just off this morning's fresh record high of $268.28 -- after receiving an upgrade at Morgan Stanley to "overweight" from "equal-weight," and price-target hike to $368 from $273. The brokerage firm cited general strength in the managed care sector, and it sees potential for increased earnings growth in the space heading into 2019.

On the charts, Anthem stock has been moving higher, enjoying a level of support at the rising 40-day moving average in recent months. Overall, the shares boasted a year-over-year lead of roughly 35%. It's not surprising, then, that most analysts have been optimistic toward ANTM, with nine of 12 sporting "strong buy" ratings.

Albeit amid lighter absolute volume, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows the security with a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.69, ranking in the 84th annual percentile. This shows calls have been purchased over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks.

Traders currently purchasing premium on Anthem stock's near-term options may be in luck, considering the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 16% ranks in the 5th annual percentile. In short, short-term options are pricing in lower-than-usual volatility expectations at the moment.

Lastly, the equity has consistently rewarded premium buyers over the past year. This is based on its Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 92 out of a possible 100, which means the shares have tended to make outsized moves relative to what the options market has priced in.

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