Media stories about Aflac (NYSE:AFL) have trended somewhat positive on Friday, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. Accern identifies positive and negative news coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Aflac earned a news sentiment score of 0.19 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media headlines about the financial services provider an impact score of 46.1036312642095 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the near term.

These are some of the media headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) opened at 83.94 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $82.47 and a 200-day moving average of $77.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $33.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.69 and a beta of 0.96. Aflac has a 1-year low of $66.50 and a 1-year high of $84.51.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.20. Aflac had a net margin of 11.98% and a return on equity of 13.09%. The firm had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.48 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.65 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Aflac will post $6.69 earnings per share for the current year.

Aflac announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, August 8th that permits the company to buyback 40,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on AFL shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Barclays PLC raised their price target on shares of Aflac from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Aflac in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, FBR & Co restated a “market perform” rating and set a $80.00 price target (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Aflac in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $78.86.

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In other news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.06, for a total value of $283,710.00. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 253,196 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,524,067.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Douglas Wayne Johnson sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.58, for a total transaction of $125,370.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 13,733 shares in the company, valued at $1,147,804.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 31,899 shares of company stock worth $2,662,483 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

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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