Aflac Incorporated (AFL) Reaches New 1-Year High at $84.32
Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) shares reached a new 52-week high during trading on Monday . The stock traded as high as $84.32 and last traded at $0.00, with a volume of shares changing hands.
Several analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Aflac from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on shares of Aflac from $71.00 to $73.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. FBR & Co reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective (up from $68.00) on shares of Aflac in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $66.00 price objective on shares of Aflac in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $77.41.
The company has a market cap of $33.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.74 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $81.36 and a 200-day moving average price of $76.68.
Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $5.43 billion for 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%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.65 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Aflac Incorporated will post $6.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 23rd were given a dividend of $0.43 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 21st. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.05%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 25.94%.
Aflac declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to buyback 40,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes 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 shares are undervalued.
In related news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Teresa L. White sold 11,314 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 42,593 shares of company stock worth $3,494,564. 3.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AFL. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Aflac by 1,750.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 23,849,668 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,727,193,000 after buying an additional 22,561,116 shares in the last quarter. AJO LP lifted its position in Aflac by 157.8% during the 2nd quarter. AJO LP now owns 3,483,353 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $270,587,000 after purchasing an additional 2,132,414 shares during the period. Balyasny Asset Management LLC lifted its position in Aflac by 1,351.2% during the 2nd quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 1,311,615 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $101,886,000 after purchasing an additional 1,221,231 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Aflac by 3.4% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 31,980,927 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,316,059,000 after purchasing an additional 1,048,415 shares during the period. Finally, Coho Partners Ltd. lifted its position in Aflac by 85.3% during the 2nd quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 2,186,934 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $169,881,000 after purchasing an additional 1,006,477 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.63% of the company’s stock.
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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