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 Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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