Vetr Inc. Upgrades AFLAC Incorporated (AFL) to “Buy”

Vetr upgraded shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday, April 18th. The brokerage currently has $77.50 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Raymond James Financial, Inc. upgraded shares of AFLAC from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $80.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AFLAC from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $82.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 17th. Bank of America Corp upgraded shares of AFLAC from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $75.00 to $78.00 in a report on Thursday, April 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price objective on shares of AFLAC from $75.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated an underperform rating and set a $62.00 price objective (down previously from $65.00) on shares of AFLAC in a report on Thursday, February 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $73.71.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.05. AFLAC had a net margin of 11.79% and a return on equity of 13.10%. The firm had revenue of $5.31 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.74 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.6% on a year-over-year basis.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 24th will be given a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.33%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 22nd. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.75%.

In other AFLAC news, insider James Todd Daniels sold 1,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.39, for a total value of $101,346.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 15,699 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,136,450.61. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.96, for a total value of $64,764.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 31,185 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,244,072.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 41,937 shares of company stock valued at $3,002,594. 3.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. CWM LLC increased its position in shares of AFLAC by 7.7% in the first quarter. CWM LLC now owns 1,400 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Parallel Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of AFLAC during the fourth quarter worth about $115,000. TLP Group LLC bought a new position in shares of AFLAC during the third quarter worth about $123,000. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC increased its position in shares of AFLAC by 41.7% in the third quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 1,766 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 520 shares during the period. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new position in shares of AFLAC during the first quarter worth about $128,000. Institutional investors own 62.45% 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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AFL

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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