Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of AFLAC Put Options (NYSE:AFL)

AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) saw some unusual options trading on Monday. Stock traders bought 19,288 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 3,433% compared to the typical volume of 546 put options.

AFL has been the subject of several research reports. Barclays cut their price target on AFLAC from $53.00 to $49.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, August 23rd. Raymond James downgraded AFLAC from a “strong-buy” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $62.00 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, July 29th. Evercore ISI downgraded AFLAC from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $56.57 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, July 16th. UBS Group lifted their target price on AFLAC from $51.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, October 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on AFLAC from $53.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, July 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.62.

Shares of NYSE AFL opened at $52.42 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a quick ratio of 0.04 and a current ratio of 0.04. AFLAC has a 52 week low of $41.45 and a 52 week high of $57.18. The stock has a market capitalization of $39.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.60, a PEG ratio of 2.91 and a beta of 0.71. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $51.94 and its 200 day moving average is $52.28.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.06. AFLAC had a return on equity of 12.94% and a net margin of 14.24%. The company had revenue of $5.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.46 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. AFLAC’s revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that AFLAC will post 4.36 earnings per share for the current year.

In other AFLAC news, insider James Todd Daniels sold 5,552 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.98, for a total transaction of $294,144.96. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 20,101 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,064,950.98. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Barbara K. Rimer sold 4,728 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.74, for a total value of $254,082.72. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 32,448 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,743,755.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 15,780 shares of company stock valued at $835,628. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of AFLAC by 0.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,140,817 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,734,798,000 after purchasing an additional 557,750 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in AFLAC by 1.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 53,864,475 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,952,313,000 after acquiring an additional 834,790 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in AFLAC by 1.6% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 15,382,748 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $843,128,000 after acquiring an additional 240,111 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its position in AFLAC by 1.6% in the second quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 9,909,267 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $476,929,000 after acquiring an additional 159,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC grew its position in AFLAC by 1.7% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 8,876,888 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $486,542,000 after acquiring an additional 144,836 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.27% of the company’s stock.

AFLAC Company Profile

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, 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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