UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its stake in shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 4.0% in the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 1,640,019 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 62,733 shares during the quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc.’s holdings in AFLAC were worth $143,961,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new stake in AFLAC during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $358,000. Rockland Trust Co. raised its stake in shares of AFLAC by 13.0% during the 4th quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 10,548 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $926,000 after buying an additional 1,214 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning raised its stake in shares of AFLAC by 2.0% during the 4th quarter. Creative Planning now owns 97,049 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,519,000 after buying an additional 1,906 shares in the last quarter. Sawyer & Company Inc purchased a new position in shares of AFLAC during the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,151,000. Finally, Novare Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of AFLAC during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $4,720,000. 66.87% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
AFL has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $90.00 target price (up from $84.00) on shares of AFLAC in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating on shares of AFLAC in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Raymond James Financial raised AFLAC from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $88.00 to $100.00 in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Citigroup raised AFLAC to a “strong-buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $88.00 to $100.00 in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised AFLAC from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $83.88.
AFLAC shares are going to split before the market opens on Monday, March 19th. The 2-1 split was announced on Tuesday, February 13th. The newly created shares will be issued to shareholders after the closing bell on Friday, March 16th.
AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.55 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $5.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.44 billion. AFLAC had a return on equity of 12.32% and a net margin of 20.18%. The company’s revenue was down 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.44 EPS. analysts expect that AFLAC Incorporated will post 7.68 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be issued a $0.52 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 20th. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.32%. This is a boost from AFLAC’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio is currently 16.35%.
In related news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 6,057 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.73, for a total value of $531,380.61. Following the sale, the president now owns 241,099 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,151,615.27. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Masatoshi Koide sold 6,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 28th. The stock was 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 approximately $2,203,256. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 22,347 shares of company stock worth $1,962,778. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.
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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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