Equities Analysts Downplay Anthem’s 2021 Guidance Slip

Anthem, Inc.’s stock value dropped roughly 7% in early trading on Jan. 27 after the insurer reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results, but it wasn’t the company’s performance last year that triggered investor concern. Instead, the catalyst was Anthem’s 2021 earnings per share (EPS) guidance of “greater than $24.50,” which dipped below the Wall Street consensus of $25.37.

In addition to the stock slide, Citi analyst Ralph Giacobbe told investors in a Jan. 28 research note that “we fielded a number of calls/emails on [Anthem] as well as read-through for the group,” suggesting investors became skittish not only about the Blue Cross Blue Shield carrier but also publicly traded insurers in general. Jefferies analysts David Windley and David Styblo shared a similar experience, writing that “Inbound callers had expressed concern” about Anthem’s results.

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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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