AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) Receives Average Rating of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) have received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the ten brokerages that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, six have issued a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $53.73.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on AFL. UBS Group increased their target price on shares of AFLAC from $51.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. Bank of America set a $55.00 target price on shares of AFLAC and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Finally, Barclays cut their target price on shares of AFLAC from $53.00 to $49.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 23rd.

NYSE:AFL traded up $0.60 on Wednesday, reaching $52.33. 3,095,909 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,158,618. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a current ratio of 0.05 and a quick ratio of 0.05. The firm has a market cap of $40.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.58, a P/E/G ratio of 2.94 and a beta of 0.71. AFLAC has a 52 week low of $41.88 and a 52 week high of $57.18. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $53.63 and a 200-day simple moving average of $53.13.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $5.54 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.52 billion. AFLAC had a net margin of 13.96% and a return on equity of 12.45%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.03 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that AFLAC will post 4.43 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 20th were given a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 19th. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.06%. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 25.96%.

In other news, Director Karole Lloyd acquired 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $54.08 per share, for a total transaction of $54,080.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 28,181 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,524,028.48. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Audrey B. Tillman sold 24,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.81, for a total transaction of $1,243,440.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 123,414 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,394,079.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AFL. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 2,231.8% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 3,037,596 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $166,490,000 after acquiring an additional 2,907,329 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 17.3% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 5,935,191 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $325,308,000 after acquiring an additional 876,489 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 1.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 53,864,475 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,952,313,000 after acquiring an additional 834,790 shares during the period. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D purchased a new stake in AFLAC in the third quarter valued at approximately $30,712,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in AFLAC by 0.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,140,817 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,734,798,000 after purchasing an additional 557,750 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.11% of the company’s stock.

AFLAC Company Profile

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, 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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Analyst Recommendations for AFLAC (NYSE:AFL)

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