Investors Buy Aflac Incorporated (AFL) on Weakness

Investors purchased shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $29.17 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $14.60 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $14.57 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Aflac had the 13th highest net in-flow for the day. Aflac traded down ($0.13) for the day and closed at $84.31

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on AFL shares. Bank of America Corporation lowered shares of Aflac from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “sell” rating and set a $71.00 price objective on shares of Aflac in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. UBS AG restated an “overweight” rating on shares of Aflac in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their price objective on shares of Aflac from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aflac presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $79.63.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 0.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24. The stock has a market capitalization of $33,240.00, a PE ratio of 12.50, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 1.00.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be given a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.15%. This is a positive change from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 14th. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is 26.12%.

Aflac announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to repurchase 40,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.83, for a total transaction of $2,095,750.00. Following the transaction, the president now owns 298,646 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,035,494.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider James Todd Daniels sold 620 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.49, for a total transaction of $50,523.80. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 15,454 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,259,346.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 28,709 shares of company stock valued at $2,404,680 over the last three months. 3.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AFL. Atwood & Palmer Inc. raised its position in Aflac by 320.5% during the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 1,312 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA raised its position in Aflac by 4,338.7% during the third quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 1,376 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after acquiring an additional 1,345 shares in the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new position in Aflac during the second quarter valued at approximately $131,000. Washington Trust Bank raised its position in Aflac by 0.9% during the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 1,704 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $132,000 after acquiring an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ClariVest Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Aflac during the second quarter valued at approximately $150,000. 66.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

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