Aflac Incorporated (AFL) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by B. Riley

B. Riley reaffirmed their neutral rating on shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) in a report issued on Monday morning. B. Riley also issued estimates for Aflac’s FY2017 earnings at $6.75 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $6.80 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $7.20 EPS.

A number of other research firms also recently commented on AFL. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aflac from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $93.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Aflac from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Aflac from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on shares of Aflac from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a hold rating and issued a $82.00 target price on shares of Aflac in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $79.63.

Shares of Aflac (NYSE:AFL) opened at $84.08 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $33,020.63, a P/E ratio of 12.46, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 1.00. Aflac has a one year low of $66.50 and a one year high of $85.70. The company has a quick ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 0.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last released its 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. Aflac had a net margin of 12.49% and a return on equity of 12.87%. The business had revenue of $5.51 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.48 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.74 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that Aflac will post 6.76 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be paid a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 14th. This is a positive change from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.93%.

Aflac declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to repurchase 40,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Aflac news, Director Elizabeth J. Hudson sold 1,279 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.76, for a total value of $107,129.04. Following the transaction, the director now owns 11,075 shares in the company, valued at approximately $927,642. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 25,000 shares of the company’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 completion of the transaction, the president now owns 298,646 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,035,494.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 28,709 shares of company stock worth $2,404,680. Company insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased its stake in Aflac by 320.5% in the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 1,312 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. CWM LLC increased its stake in Aflac by 2.1% in the 2nd quarter. CWM LLC now owns 1,430 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new stake in Aflac in the second quarter worth approximately $131,000. Washington Trust Bank grew its position in Aflac by 0.9% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 1,704 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $132,000 after acquiring an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in Aflac in the first quarter worth approximately $128,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.42% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

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