Equities research analysts expect that Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) will post sales of $5.40 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have provided estimates for Aflac’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $5.44 billion and the lowest is $5.36 billion. Aflac posted sales of $5.96 billion in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year over year growth rate of 9.4%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Tuesday, January 30th.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Aflac will report full-year sales of $5.40 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $21.31 billion to $21.69 billion. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report sales of $21.70 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $20.90 billion to $22.41 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Aflac.
Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.07. Aflac had a return on equity of 12.87% and a net margin of 12.49%. The company had revenue of $5.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.48 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.74 EPS. Aflac’s revenue was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year.
Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on AFL shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 21st. ValuEngine upgraded Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on Aflac from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $82.00 price objective on shares of Aflac in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) started coverage on Aflac in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $88.00 price objective on the stock. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $79.63.
In other news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 25,000 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.83, for a total transaction of $2,095,750.00. Following the sale, the president now owns 298,646 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $25,035,494.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Douglas Wayne Johnson sold 1,500 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.58, for a total transaction of $125,370.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 13,733 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,147,804.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 28,709 shares of company stock worth $2,404,680. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AFL. AJO LP raised its position in shares of Aflac by 157.8% during the 2nd 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 during the period. Balyasny Asset Management LLC raised its position in Aflac by 1,351.2% in the second quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 1,311,615 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $101,886,000 after purchasing an additional 1,221,231 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its position in Aflac by 392.0% in the third quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,303,597 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $106,100,000 after purchasing an additional 1,038,628 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in Aflac by 244.3% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,443,723 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $117,491,000 after purchasing an additional 1,024,456 shares during the period. Finally, Coho Partners Ltd. raised its position 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 purchasing an additional 1,006,477 shares during the period. 66.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Aflac (AFL) traded down $0.64 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $83.44. The company had a trading volume of 1,181,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,794,537. The company has a current ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 0.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24. Aflac has a 12 month low of $66.50 and a 12 month high of $85.70. The firm has a market cap of $32,804.40, a PE ratio of 12.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 1.00.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be given a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.16%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 14th. This is a positive change from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. Aflac’s payout ratio is presently 24.93%.
Aflac announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, August 8th that permits the company to buyback 40,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
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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