News articles about AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) have trended somewhat positive on Wednesday, according to Accern. The research firm scores the sentiment of press coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. AFLAC earned a daily sentiment score of 0.08 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave headlines about the financial services provider an impact score of 45.2310467721568 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the near term.
These are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s scoring:
- AFLAC Incorporated (AFL) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $5.49 Billion (americanbankingnews.com)
- $1.91 EPS Expected for AFLAC Incorporated (AFL) This Quarter (americanbankingnews.com)
- AFLAC Incorporated (AFL) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages (americanbankingnews.com)
- Cox Enterprises adds name to Atlanta employers giving tax-cut bonus (bizjournals.com)
- Air Lease Corporation to Present at J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Industrials Conference (econotimes.com)
A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of AFLAC from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. UBS Group assumed coverage on shares of AFLAC in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $98.00 target price on the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of AFLAC in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $84.00 target price on shares of AFLAC and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AFLAC from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the company. AFLAC has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.96.
AFLAC’s stock is set to split before the market opens on Monday, March 19th. The 2-1 split was announced on Tuesday, February 13th. The newly issued shares will be issued to shareholders after the market closes on Friday, March 16th.
AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.60 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.55 by $0.05. AFLAC had a net margin of 20.18% and a return on equity of 12.29%. The company had revenue of $5.42 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.44 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.44 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that AFLAC will post 7.68 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 21st were given a $0.52 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 20th. This is an increase from AFLAC’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.29%. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.89%.
In related news, Director Joseph L. Moskowitz bought 550 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $89.13 per share, for a total transaction of $49,021.50. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 9,263 shares in the company, valued at approximately $825,611.19. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider June P. Howard sold 2,648 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.33, for a total transaction of $239,193.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 43,921 shares of company stock worth $3,913,315. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.
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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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