Analysts View Anthem’s 2Q More Favorably Than Market

Anthem, Inc.’s stock took a dive after its second-quarter 2021 earnings conference call on July 21, surprising equities analysts who saw the large Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer’s financial performance and outlook as relatively solid.

Jefferies’ David Windley, in a note issued to investors on the evening of July 21, attributed the “negative reaction” regarding Anthem’s results to “fear of the unknown.” The insurer’s management “didn’t bless growth above target range for ’22, despite several favorable indicators,” Windley acknowledged, and “it offered a couple of start-up headwinds” related to recent contract wins, “though nothing big enough to overwhelm unwinding COVID headwinds and already conservative balance sheet in ’21.”

Ultimately, “investors seem to think [management] is not telling us something,” he added. “We’d call it conservatism ahead of ’22 budget completion and would buy the weakness.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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