Shares of Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL) have been given an average rating of “Hold” by the nineteen analysts that are presently covering the firm. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $69.20.

Several brokerages have issued reports on AFL. FBR & Co reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Aflac in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Vetr raised Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.76 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, October 17th. Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on Aflac in a research note on Friday, October 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $75.00 target price for the company. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. started coverage on Aflac in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. They issued a “market perform” rating for the company.

Shares of Aflac (NYSE:AFL) opened at 72.39 on Tuesday. Aflac has a 52 week low of $54.57 and a 52 week high of $74.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $29.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.48 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $70.72 and a 200 day moving average price of $71.18.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $1.82 earnings per share (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 firm earned $5.72 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.75 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.32 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Aflac will post $6.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 16th will be issued a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.38%. This is a positive change from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 14th. Aflac’s payout ratio is 27.30%.

In other news, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 directly owns 33,958 shares in the company, valued at $2,512,212.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 18,856 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 43,087 shares in the company, valued at $3,166,894.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. JNBA Financial Advisors purchased a new stake in shares of Aflac during the second quarter worth approximately $24,130,000. RS Investment Management Co. LLC raised its stake in shares of Aflac by 20.6% in the second quarter. RS Investment Management Co. LLC now owns 767,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $55,379,000 after buying an additional 130,920 shares during the period. Dividend Assets Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of Aflac by 25.1% in the second quarter. Dividend Assets Capital LLC now owns 536,795 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,735,000 after buying an additional 107,795 shares during the period. Brown Advisory Inc. raised its stake in shares of Aflac by 10.2% in the second quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 81,785 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,901,000 after buying an additional 7,596 shares during the period. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in shares of Aflac by 0.5% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,912,237 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,747,000 after buying an additional 9,569 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 63.30% of the company’s stock.

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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