BidaskClub Lowers AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) to Strong Sell

AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) was downgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday, August 1st.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, April 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated an “underperform” rating and set a $66.00 target price (up previously from $62.00) on shares of AFLAC in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Raymond James Financial, Inc. upgraded AFLAC from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on AFLAC from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation upgraded AFLAC from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $75.00 to $78.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $76.50.

Shares of AFLAC (AFL) traded down 0.09% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $80.75. 1,372,192 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $31.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.21 and a beta of 0.99. AFLAC has a 1-year low of $66.50 and a 1-year high of $81.80. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $78.72 and its 200-day moving average is $74.57.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.48 billion. AFLAC had a return on equity of 13.67% and a net margin of 13.11%. The firm’s revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.65 EPS. Equities analysts predict that AFLAC will post $6.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

AFLAC declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to repurchase 40,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 transaction, the president now directly owns 253,196 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,524,067.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Karole Lloyd purchased 1,000 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The stock was bought at an average price of $77.01 per share, for a total transaction of $77,010.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 7,253 shares in the company, valued at $558,553.53. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 240,203 shares of company stock worth $18,612,224 over the last 90 days. 3.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in AFLAC by 1,750.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 23,849,668 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,727,193,000 after buying an additional 22,561,116 shares in the last quarter. AJO LP increased its stake in AFLAC by 157.8% in the second quarter. AJO LP now owns 3,483,353 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $270,587,000 after buying an additional 2,132,414 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in AFLAC by 3.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 31,980,927 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,316,059,000 after buying an additional 1,048,415 shares in the last quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. increased its stake in AFLAC by 85.3% in the second quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 2,186,934 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $169,881,000 after buying an additional 1,006,477 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its stake in AFLAC by 108.6% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,870,142 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $145,273,000 after buying an additional 973,604 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.64% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for AFLAC (NYSE:AFL)

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