Investors Buy Shares of AFLAC (AFL) on Weakness

Investors purchased shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) on weakness during trading on Friday. $96.83 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $29.31 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $67.52 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, AFLAC had the 16th highest net in-flow for the day. AFLAC traded down ($0.12) for the day and closed at $48.92

A number of brokerages have weighed in on AFL. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday. ValuEngine cut shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, March 1st. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on shares of AFLAC to $48.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut shares of AFLAC from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $51.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.67.

The company has a market capitalization of $36.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.76, a PEG ratio of 3.39 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25, a quick ratio of 0.06 and a current ratio of 0.06.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.02 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $5.48 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.47 billion. AFLAC had a net margin of 13.42% and a return on equity of 13.62%. Analysts anticipate that AFLAC Incorporated will post 4.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Masatoshi Koide sold 29,008 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.75, for a total transaction of $1,443,148.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 64,512 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,209,472. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Karole Lloyd acquired 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 22nd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $49.83 per share, with a total value of $99,660.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 22,160 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,104,232.80. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 89,244 shares of company stock valued at $4,363,557 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in AFLAC by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 66,738,143 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,141,364,000 after acquiring an additional 505,341 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc grew its stake in AFLAC by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 66,738,143 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,141,364,000 after acquiring an additional 505,341 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in AFLAC by 3.1% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 51,647,878 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,353,074,000 after acquiring an additional 1,557,905 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in AFLAC by 7.5% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 10,367,524 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $471,555,000 after acquiring an additional 724,613 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LSV Asset Management grew its stake in AFLAC by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 6,110,739 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $278,405,000 after acquiring an additional 21,722 shares in the last quarter. 68.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About AFLAC (NYSE:AFL)

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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