Analyst Goes Bearish on Anthem Stock

Sentiment among the brokerage bunch is still overwhelmingly optimistic

by Lillian Currens

Published on Apr 9, 2020 at 9:45 AM

After yesterday's pop for insurance providers, traders are pulling back from Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) this morning. The stock is trading down 0.8% at $244.99 on a downgrade from Jefferies to "hold" from "buy." The analyst also cut its price target to $257 from $354, adding that the insurance stock is the most exposed to Commercial Risk in its sector. 

While yesterday's surge put ANTM at a 21.5% weekly win, familiar pressure at its 40-day moving average is once again acting as a ceiling on the charts. The security's pre-bear gap lows near the $251 region are also keeping a lid on shares -- which are still suffering a roughly 18% year-to-date deficit. 

Coming into today, the majority of analysts were bullish on the equity, with 12 calling it a "buy" or better, and only three saying "hold." Adding to this, the consensus 12-month target price of $323.73 is a 31.1% premium to last night's close. 

It's more of the same in the options pits, with ANTM sporting a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.7 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio sits in the slightly elevated 66th percentile of its annual range, suggesting a healthier-than-usual appetite for long calls of late. 



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