Investors Buy AFLAC (AFL) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) on weakness during trading on Monday. $332.00 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $287.96 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $44.04 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, AFLAC had the 17th highest net in-flow for the day. AFLAC traded down ($6.75) for the day and closed at $84.94

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $90.00 target price (up previously from $84.00) on shares of AFLAC in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of AFLAC from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AFLAC from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Citigroup downgraded shares of AFLAC from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $82.00 to $77.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of AFLAC in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $88.00 target price on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $80.29.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 0.07 and a quick ratio of 0.07. The firm has a market cap of $33,390.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 1.02.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.07. AFLAC had a net margin of 12.49% and a return on equity of 12.87%. The firm had revenue of $5.51 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.48 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.74 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that AFLAC Incorporated will post 6.76 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, COO Masatoshi Koide sold 6,250 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.00, for a total value of $550,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 25,037 shares in the company, valued at $2,203,256. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP James Todd Daniels sold 1,430 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.11, for a total transaction of $124,567.30. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 12,708 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,106,993.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 22,657 shares of company stock worth $1,988,685. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AFL. Systematic Financial Management LP purchased a new stake in shares of AFLAC in the second quarter valued at about $999,000. AXA raised its holdings in shares of AFLAC by 152.7% in the second quarter. AXA now owns 21,844 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,696,000 after purchasing an additional 13,200 shares during the last quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP purchased a new stake in shares of AFLAC in the second quarter valued at about $619,000. Dorsey & Whitney Trust CO LLC purchased a new stake in shares of AFLAC in the second quarter valued at about $223,000. Finally, BT Investment Management Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of AFLAC in the second quarter valued at about $8,658,000. Institutional investors own 65.62% of the company’s stock.

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AFLAC Company Profile

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.

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