Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL) was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $74.76 target price on the stock. Vetr‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 4.38% from the company’s previous close.

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on Aflac in a report on Friday, October 7th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $75.00 price target for the company. FBR & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Aflac in a report on Friday, July 29th. Wells Fargo & Co. assumed coverage on Aflac in a report on Friday, September 23rd. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 price objective (down previously from $75.00) on shares of Aflac in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.21.

Analyst Recommendations for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

Shares of Aflac (NYSE:AFL) opened at 71.62 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $70.73 and a 200-day moving average price of $71.29. Aflac has a 12 month low of $54.57 and a 12 month high of $74.50. The company has a market capitalization of $29.23 billion, a PE ratio of 11.35 and a beta of 1.07.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $1.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the 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 analysts’ expectations of $5.75 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.32 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Aflac will post $6.95 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.43 per share. This is an increase from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 14th. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.40%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.30%.

In related news, insider Teresa L. White sold 35,734 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.28, for a total transaction of $2,654,321.52. Following the sale, the insider now owns 29,633 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,201,139.24. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 33,958 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,512,212.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.90% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AFL. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Aflac by 32.5% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 46,923 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,963,000 after buying an additional 11,519 shares during the last quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Aflac during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,075,000. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Aflac during the first quarter valued at approximately $322,000. Babson Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Aflac by 3.8% in the first quarter. Babson Capital Management LLC now owns 49,017 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,095,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its position in shares of Aflac by 2.0% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 31,608 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,010,000 after buying an additional 615 shares during the last quarter. 63.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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