Somewhat Positive Media Coverage Extremely Likely to Impact AFLAC (AFL) Share Price

Headlines about AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) have been trending somewhat positive on Saturday, according to AlphaOne Sentiment Analysis. The research firm, a service of Accern, identifies positive and negative news coverage by reviewing more than 20 million blog and news sources. AlphaOne ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. AFLAC earned a media sentiment score of 0.17 on AlphaOne’s scale. AlphaOne also assigned news headlines about the financial services provider an impact score of 91 out of 100, meaning that recent news coverage is extremely likely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the next few days.

Here are some of the news headlines that may have impacted Alpha One Sentiment’s rankings:

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on AFL shares. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $62.00 price target (down previously from $65.00) on shares of AFLAC in a research report on Thursday, February 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded AFLAC from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the company from $71.71 to $75.00 in a research report on Monday, February 27th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 28th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. upgraded AFLAC from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. Finally, Citigroup Inc began coverage on AFLAC in a research report on Thursday, January 26th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $73.00 target price for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $73.71.

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

The firm also recently disclosed 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.33%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 22nd. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.75%.

In related news, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 900 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction on Monday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.96, for a total value of $64,764.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 31,185 shares in the company, valued at $2,244,072.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, 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 transaction, the insider now owns 15,699 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,136,450.61. 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. Company insiders own 3.90% of the company’s stock.

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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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