Palisade Asset Management LLC reduced its position in shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 28.6% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 226,846 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 90,995 shares during the period. AFLAC makes up approximately 1.8% of Palisade Asset Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 16th largest position. Palisade Asset Management LLC’s holdings in AFLAC were worth $11,342,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of AFL. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new position in AFLAC in the third quarter valued at about $12,403,000. LPL Financial LLC increased its holdings in AFLAC by 1.7% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 170,930 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,046,000 after buying an additional 2,840 shares in the last quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in AFLAC in the third quarter valued at about $790,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in AFLAC by 13.9% in the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 41,068 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,933,000 after buying an additional 4,998 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Man Group plc increased its holdings in AFLAC by 38.1% in the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 308,434 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $14,519,000 after buying an additional 85,020 shares in the last quarter. 68.46% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

AFL has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of AFLAC from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $51.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of AFLAC from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Finally, SunTrust Banks increased their price target on shares of AFLAC to $48.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.67.

In other news, Director Karole Lloyd bought 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 22nd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $49.83 per share, for a total transaction of $99,660.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 22,160 shares in the company, valued at $1,104,232.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Masatoshi Koide sold 27,120 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.71, for a total transaction of $1,293,895.20. Following the sale, the insider now owns 52,858 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,521,855.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 89,244 shares of company stock worth $4,363,557. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

NYSE AFL traded down $0.56 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $48.95. 4,309,000 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,374,788. AFLAC Incorporated has a 1-year low of $41.45 and a 1-year high of $50.66. The firm has a market cap of $37.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.41 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25, a quick ratio of 0.06 and a current ratio of 0.06.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.02 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.08. AFLAC had a net margin of 13.42% and a return on equity of 13.62%. The firm had revenue of $5.48 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.47 billion. As a group, equities analysts predict that AFLAC Incorporated will post 4.22 EPS for the current year.

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AFLAC Profile

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides voluntary supplemental health and life insurance products. It operates through two segments, Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. The Aflac Japan segment offers voluntary supplemental insurance products, including cancer plans, general medical indemnity plans, medical/sickness riders, care plans, living benefit life plans, ordinary life insurance plans, and annuities in Japan.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for AFLAC (NYSE:AFL)

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