Media stories about Aflac (NYSE:AFL) have been trending somewhat positive on Sunday, according to Accern Sentiment. The research group ranks the sentiment of press coverage by monitoring more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Aflac earned a coverage optimism score of 0.22 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news stories about the financial services provider an impact score of 46.7051106312616 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

Here are some of the media headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s rankings:

Shares of Aflac (AFL) traded down $0.64 on Friday, reaching $83.44. 1,181,700 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,454,931. The company has a market capitalization of $32,804.44, a PE ratio of 12.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a current ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 0.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24. Aflac has a 1 year low of $66.50 and a 1 year high of $85.70.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.70 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.63 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $5.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.48 billion. Aflac had a net margin of 12.49% and a return on equity of 12.87%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.74 earnings per share. analysts expect that Aflac will post 6.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. This is a boost from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.16%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.93%.

Aflac announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Tuesday, August 8th that permits the company to buyback 40,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

AFL has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, September 21st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of Aflac from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Aflac in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) initiated coverage on shares of Aflac in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $88.00 price target for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $79.63.

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In other news, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 310 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.57, for a total transaction of $25,906.70. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 41,937 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,504,675.09. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.83, for a total transaction of $2,095,750.00. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 298,646 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $25,035,494.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 28,709 shares of company stock valued at $2,404,680. Company 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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

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