National Pension Service increased its position in Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL) by 8.3% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 320,971 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 24,689 shares during the period. National Pension Service owned about 0.08% of Aflac worth $23,068,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in AFL. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of 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. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in shares of Aflac by 2.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 11,424,068 shares of the company’s stock valued at $824,361,000 after buying an additional 316,344 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in shares of Aflac by 3.1% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 6,665,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $481,011,000 after buying an additional 197,448 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of 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. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in shares of Aflac by 6.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 3,477,538 shares of the company’s stock valued at $250,939,000 after buying an additional 200,563 shares during the period. 62.37% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL) traded up 0.28% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $71.48. 255,652 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $70.67 and its 200-day moving average is $71.36. Aflac Inc. has a one year low of $54.57 and a one year high of $74.50. The firm has a market cap of $29.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.33 and a beta of 1.07.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $1.82 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.08. Aflac had a net margin of 12.03% and a return on equity of 13.72%. The company earned $5.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.75 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.32 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Aflac Inc. will post $6.95 EPS for the current fiscal 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 issued a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.41%. This is a boost from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 14th. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.30%.

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Several brokerages have issued reports on AFL. Vetr raised shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.76 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, November 22nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Aflac from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG initiated coverage on shares of Aflac in a report on Friday, October 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $75.00 price target on the stock. FBR & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Aflac in a research note on Friday, October 28th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on shares of Aflac in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Aflac has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.21.

In other Aflac news, insider Teresa L. White sold 35,734 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.28, for a total value of $2,654,321.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 29,633 shares in the company, valued at $2,201,139.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 18,856 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.50, for a total transaction of $1,385,916.00. Following the completion of the transaction, 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.

Aflac Company Profile

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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