Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL) – Equities researchers at FBR & Co lifted their FY2016 EPS estimates for Aflac in a research report issued on Wednesday. FBR & Co analyst R. Binner now forecasts that the brokerage will post earnings of $7.00 per share for the year, up from their prior forecast of $6.95. FBR & Co has a “Hold” rating on the stock. FBR & Co also issued estimates for Aflac’s Q4 2016 earnings at $1.75 EPS.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $1.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.08. Aflac had a return on equity of 13.72% and a net margin of 12.03%. The business had revenue of $5.72 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.32 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 13.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Earnings History and Estimates for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on AFL. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 target price (down from $75.00) on shares of Aflac in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on Aflac in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG initiated coverage on Aflac in a research report on Friday, October 7th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $75.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Vetr upgraded Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.76 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 17th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Aflac currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.21.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) opened at 72.61 on Friday. Aflac has a 12 month low of $54.57 and a 12 month high of $74.50. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $70.73 and a 200 day moving average price of $71.09. The stock has a market capitalization of $29.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.51 and a beta of 1.07.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Smead Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in Aflac during the second quarter valued at approximately $119,828,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Aflac by 5.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 29,411,321 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,122,320,000 after buying an additional 1,571,695 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in Aflac by 29.3% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 4,175,649 shares of the company’s stock valued at $301,314,000 after buying an additional 945,952 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in Aflac by 1,088.1% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 896,658 shares of the company’s stock valued at $56,615,000 after buying an additional 821,189 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Aflac by 50.2% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,233,685 shares of the company’s stock valued at $160,535,000 after buying an additional 746,420 shares during the period. 62.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In other Aflac news, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.98, for a total value of $110,970.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 33,958 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,512,212.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 18,856 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.50, for a total value of $1,385,916.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 43,087 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,166,894.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 16th will be given a $0.43 dividend. This is a positive change from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 14th. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.37%. Aflac’s payout ratio is presently 26.03%.

About Aflac

Aflac Incorporated is a business holding company. The Company engaged in is supplemental health and life insurance, which is marketed and administered through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac). Aflac’s insurance business consists of two segments: Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S.

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