AFLAC (AFL) Hits New 12-Month High at $52.27

AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) shares hit a new 52-week high on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $52.27 and last traded at $52.12, with a volume of 142239 shares. The stock had previously closed at $51.31.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on AFL shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. ValuEngine lowered AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. UBS Group cut their target price on AFLAC from $50.00 to $49.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. SunTrust Banks increased their target price on AFLAC to $48.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Finally, Raymond James increased their target price on AFLAC from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.80.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 0.05 and a quick ratio of 0.05. The stock has a market cap of $37.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.48, a PEG ratio of 3.42 and a beta of 0.78.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.07. AFLAC had a return on equity of 13.49% and a net margin of 14.26%. The company had revenue of $5.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.46 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.05 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that AFLAC Incorporated will post 4.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 3rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 22nd will be given a $0.27 dividend. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 21st. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 25.96%.

In other news, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 2,100 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.71, for a total transaction of $102,291.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 105,017 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,115,378.07. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Charles D. Lake II sold 15,678 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.19, for a total value of $771,200.82. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 137,764 shares in the company, valued at $6,776,611.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 106,910 shares of company stock worth $5,342,838 over the last three months. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Hancock Whitney Corp acquired a new position in AFLAC in the fourth quarter worth about $1,687,000. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of AFLAC during the fourth quarter worth approximately $260,062,000. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of AFLAC during the fourth quarter worth approximately $41,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 12.6% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 6,235,323 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $311,766,000 after buying an additional 696,326 shares during the period. Finally, Brown Advisory Inc. boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 347,517 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $15,833,000 after buying an additional 2,985 shares during the period. 67.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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AFLAC Company Profile (NYSE:AFL)

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, provides voluntary supplemental health and life insurance products. It operates through two segments, Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. The Aflac Japan segment offers voluntary supplemental insurance products, including cancer plans, general medical indemnity plans, medical/sickness riders, care plans, living benefit life plans, ordinary life insurance plans, and annuities in Japan.

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