Investec Asset Management North America Inc. boosted its stake in AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 22.9% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 56,350 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 10,502 shares during the period. Investec Asset Management North America Inc.’s holdings in AFLAC were worth $2,424,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in AFLAC by 105.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 51,061,717 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,234,459,000 after purchasing an additional 26,264,017 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in AFLAC by 96.3% in the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 10,631,066 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $465,215,000 after purchasing an additional 5,215,905 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management grew its position in AFLAC by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 6,323,617 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $272,042,000 after purchasing an additional 253,241 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in AFLAC by 98.9% in the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,240,111 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $273,050,000 after purchasing an additional 3,103,311 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. grew its position in AFLAC by 100.2% in the 1st quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 5,887,880 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $257,653,000 after purchasing an additional 2,947,089 shares during the period. 67.17% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on shares of AFLAC from $49.00 to $45.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 17th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. B. Riley boosted their price objective on shares of AFLAC from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of AFLAC in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.23.
Shares of AFL stock opened at $46.94 on Thursday. AFLAC Incorporated has a 1 year low of $39.88 and a 1 year high of $47.15. The company has a quick ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 0.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22. The firm has a market cap of $36.06 billion, a PE ratio of 13.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 0.98.
AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.99 by $0.08. AFLAC had a net margin of 21.00% and a return on equity of 12.53%. The firm had revenue of $5.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.52 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.92 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that AFLAC Incorporated will post 4.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, September 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 22nd will be issued a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 21st. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio is currently 30.59%.
In related news, insider Eric M. Kirsch sold 66,447 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.31, for a total value of $2,877,819.57. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 128,796 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,578,154.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.
Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides voluntary supplemental health and life insurance products. It operates through two segments, Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. The Aflac Japan segment offers voluntary supplemental insurance products, including cancer plans, general medical indemnity plans, medical/sickness riders, care plans, living benefit life plans, ordinary life insurance plans, and annuities in Japan.
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