Gateway Advisory LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor acquired 3,148 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $232,000.

Several other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Aflac during the fourth quarter worth about $1,454,272,000. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Aflac by 75.7% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 4,217,298 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $293,524,000 after buying an additional 1,817,630 shares during the period. Janus Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Aflac by 72.8% in the fourth quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 1,631,945 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $113,583,000 after buying an additional 687,484 shares during the period. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. increased its stake in Aflac by 1,709.8% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 716,675 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $49,895,000 after buying an additional 677,075 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in Aflac during the fourth quarter worth about $40,834,000. Institutional investors own 64.09% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

Aflac Incorporated (AFL) opened at 79.26 on Tuesday. Aflac Incorporated has a 52-week low of $66.50 and a 52-week high of $79.86. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $75.23 and its 200-day moving average is $72.20. The company has a market capitalization of $31.45 billion, a PE ratio of 12.89 and a beta of 1.00.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.05. Aflac had a return on equity of 12.82% and a net margin of 11.24%. The firm had revenue of $5.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.40 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.74 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Aflac Incorporated will post $6.52 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 24th were paid a dividend of $0.43 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, May 22nd. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.17%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.92%.

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AFL has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Aflac from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $71.71 to $75.00 in a report on Monday, February 27th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. upgraded shares of Aflac from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 28th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated an “underperform” rating and set a $66.00 target price (up from $62.00) on shares of Aflac in a report on Monday, May 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on shares of Aflac from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $74.55.

In related news, Director Barbara K. Rimer sold 1,412 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.00, for a total transaction of $101,664.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 12,852 shares in the company, valued at $925,344. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 2,500 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.72, for a total value of $194,300.00. Following the sale, the president now owns 241,646 shares in the company, valued at $18,780,727.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 233,201 shares of company stock worth $18,011,519 over the last three months. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

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.

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