Aflac (NYSE: AFL) is one of 31 publicly-traded companies in the “Life & Health Insurance” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Aflac to similar businesses based on the strength of its institutional ownership, risk, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares Aflac and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aflac 11.98% 13.09% 2.05%
Aflac Competitors 4.00% 1.18% 1.80%

Volatility and Risk

Aflac has a beta of 0.97, indicating that its share price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aflac’s peers have a beta of 1.28, indicating that their average share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Aflac pays an annual dividend of $1.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Aflac pays out 25.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Life & Health Insurance” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.3% and pay out 35.9% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Aflac has raised its dividend for 34 consecutive years.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Aflac and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Aflac $22.65 billion $4.75 billion 12.49
Aflac Competitors $28.39 billion $2.33 billion 49.31

Aflac’s peers have higher revenue, but lower earnings than Aflac. Aflac is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

65.7% of Aflac shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 68.4% of shares of all “Life & Health Insurance” companies are owned by institutional investors. 3.0% of Aflac shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 9.5% of shares of all “Life & Health Insurance” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Aflac and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aflac 3 6 2 0 1.91
Aflac Competitors 348 1376 1887 80 2.46

Aflac currently has a consensus price target of $75.56, indicating a potential downside of 8.76%. As a group, “Life & Health Insurance” companies have a potential upside of 11.20%. Given Aflac’s peers stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Aflac has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Summary

Aflac peers beat Aflac on 10 of the 15 factors compared.

About Aflac

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. The Company designs the United States insurance products to provide supplemental coverage for people having medical or primary insurance coverage. Aflac U.S. offers accident coverage on both an individual and group basis. The Company offers cancer plans, critical illness plans, and critical care and recovery plans. The Company designs the United States insurance products to provide supplemental coverage for people having medical or primary insurance coverage. Aflac U.S. offers accident coverage on both an individual and group basis. The Company offers cancer plans, critical illness plans, and critical care and recovery plans.

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