Headlines about Aflac (NYSE:AFL) have been trending somewhat positive this week, Accern Sentiment reports. The research firm identifies positive and negative news coverage by monitoring more than 20 million news and blog sources. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Aflac earned a media sentiment score of 0.16 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media coverage about the financial services provider an impact score of 46.0581351879572 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the near future.

Here are some of the headlines that may have impacted Accern’s rankings:

Several analysts have weighed in on the company. UBS AG reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Aflac in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Barclays PLC raised their price target on Aflac from $71.00 to $73.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, July 3rd. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $66.00 price target on shares of Aflac in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation raised Aflac from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $75.00 to $78.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $76.50.

Shares of Aflac (NYSE AFL) traded up 0.43% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $82.06. The company had a trading volume of 2,065,749 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $79.41 and its 200-day moving average is $75.36. The stock has a market capitalization of $32.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.41 and a beta of 0.99. Aflac has a 52 week low of $66.50 and a 52 week high of $82.36.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.83 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.63 by $0.20. Aflac had a return on equity of 13.09% and a net margin of 11.98%. The firm had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.48 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.65 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Aflac will post $6.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Aflac announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, August 8th that permits the company to repurchase 40,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 23rd will be issued a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 21st. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.94%.

In other Aflac news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 3,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.06, for a total value of $283,710.00. Following the sale, the president now owns 253,196 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,524,067.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Karole Lloyd bought 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 12th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $77.01 per share, for a total transaction of $77,010.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 7,253 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $558,553.53. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 240,203 shares of company stock worth $18,612,224. 3.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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About Aflac

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

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

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