Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $74.76 target price on the stock. Vetr‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 3.27% from the stock’s current price.

AFL has been the topic of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Aflac from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective (down from $75.00) on shares of Aflac in a research report on Monday, August 1st. FBR & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Aflac in a research report on Friday, October 28th. Wells Fargo & Co. started coverage on shares of Aflac in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. They issued a “market perform” rating on the stock. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on shares of Aflac in a research report on Friday, October 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $75.00 price objective on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aflac presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.21.

Analyst Recommendations for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) opened at 72.39 on Wednesday. Aflac has a 12-month low of $54.57 and a 12-month high of $74.50. The company has a market capitalization of $29.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.48 and a beta of 1.07. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $70.72 and a 200 day moving average price of $71.18.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $1.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $5.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.75 billion. Aflac had a net margin of 12.03% and a return on equity of 13.72%. The business’s revenue was up 13.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.32 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Aflac will post $6.94 EPS for the current year.

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 paid a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.38%. This is an increase from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 14th. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.30%.

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

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Smead Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Aflac during the second quarter worth about $119,828,000. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted 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 worth $2,122,320,000 after buying an additional 1,571,695 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted 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 worth $301,314,000 after buying an additional 945,952 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted 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 worth $56,615,000 after buying an additional 821,189 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted 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 worth $160,535,000 after buying an additional 746,420 shares in the last quarter. 63.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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