What is an Anthem?
Learning about the origin of a company’s name is something I find interesting. When I worked at Universal Foods (1976-1999), I learned that the company had roots in a company called Red Star Yeast. But Red Star Yeast, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, started in the late 1880s as Meadow Springs Distillery, which had a side yeast business. Eventually, the yeast business adopted the name of its most popular brand, Red Star Yeast. Today Universal Foods is called “Sensient Technologies.” If you are interested, the ticker symbol for Sensient is “SXT.”
As I thought about my investment in Anthem (ANTM), I wondered how the company got its name. I did not find an answer. But I do know that an anthem is usually thought of as a rousing or uplifting song identified with a group or cause. It can also be a patriotic song adopted as an expression of national identity and often played at the Olympics. It can also be a choral composition sung by a church choir. In other words, “anthem” generally implies something positive and uplifting.
A Dividend Growth Story
ANTM currently has a dividend yield of 1.45% and an excellent, sustainable dividend payout ratio of 20.15%. Both of these values fit my requirements for an investment. Any payout ratio less than 20% usually doesn’t not meet my investment buy criteria. ANTM has a 9-year record of increasing dividends, and a desirable 5-year growth rate of 8.73%. Comparable companies include HUM, CNC, and MOH. I don’t care for these other choices, as their dividend profiles don’t match my minimum requirements.
Anthem, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a health benefits company in the United States. It operates through three segments: Commercial & Specialty Business, Government Business, and Other. The company offers a spectrum of network-based managed care health benefit plans to large and small group, individual, Medicaid, and Medicare markets. The company also provides a range of managed care services to self-funded customers, including claims processing, underwriting, stop loss insurance, actuarial services, provider network access, medical cost management, disease management, wellness programs, and other administrative services. It offers an array of specialty and other insurance products and services, such as dental, vision, life and disability insurance benefits, radiology benefit management, and analytics-driven personal health care guidance; and Medicare administrative services. Further, the company provides services to the federal government in connection with the Federal Employee Program; and operates as a licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. As of December 31, 2019, it served 41 million medical members through its affiliated health plans. Anthem, Inc. has a strategic relationship with Quest Diagnostics Incorporated to develop various outcomes-based programs for enhanced health care experience for consumers and providers. The company was formerly known as WellPoint, Inc. and changed its name to Anthem, Inc. in December 2014. Anthem, Inc. was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
I hold 40 ANTM shares (added ten this morning) and will probably buy more before the Ex-Dividend Date which is March 9th.
Investor Link for ANTM