Aflac Incorporated (AFL) Given Average Rating of “Hold” by Brokerages

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) has received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the sixteen research firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, six have assigned a hold recommendation and six have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price target among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $77.15.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. FBR & Co restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $80.00 target price (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Aflac in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. UBS AG restated an “overweight” rating on shares of Aflac in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Barclays PLC upped their target price on shares of Aflac from $71.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “sell” rating and issued a $66.00 target price on shares of Aflac in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th.

In other news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.06, for a total transaction of $283,710.00. Following the transaction, the president now owns 253,196 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,524,067.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Teresa L. White sold 11,314 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.01, for a total transaction of $882,605.14. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 26,847 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,094,334.47. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AFL. Atwood & Palmer Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Aflac by 320.5% during the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 1,312 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. CWM LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Aflac by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. CWM LLC now owns 1,430 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Aflac during the 1st quarter worth $128,000. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new stake in shares of Aflac during the 2nd quarter worth $131,000. Finally, Washington Trust Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Aflac by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 1,704 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the period. 65.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Aflac (NYSE AFL) opened at 82.81 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $32.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.52 and a beta of 0.97. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $81.14 and its 200 day moving average price is $76.46. Aflac has a one year low of $66.50 and a one year high of $83.39.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.83 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.48 billion. Aflac had a net margin of 11.98% and a return on equity of 13.09%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.65 EPS. The company’s revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Aflac will post $6.69 earnings per share for the current year.

Aflac declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Tuesday, August 8th that allows the company to buyback 40,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 23rd were paid a $0.43 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 21st. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.08%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.94%.

Aflac Company Profile

Aflac Incorporated is a business holding company. The Company is involved in supplemental health and life insurance, which is marketed and administered through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac). The Company’s insurance business consists of two segments: Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S.

Analyst Recommendations for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

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