BlackRock Inc. cut its stake in shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 50,089,973 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 219,305 shares during the quarter. BlackRock Inc. owned approximately 0.07% of AFLAC worth $2,357,736,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of AFL. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in AFLAC by 34,171.9% during the second quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 93,905 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $101,000 after acquiring an additional 93,631 shares in the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH bought a new position in AFLAC during the third quarter worth $104,000. Truvestments Capital LLC bought a new position in AFLAC during the third quarter worth $107,000. Spectrum Management Group Inc. bought a new position in AFLAC during the second quarter worth $122,000. Finally, Zions Bancorporation bought a new position in AFLAC during the third quarter worth $131,000. 67.37% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
AFL has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of AFLAC in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of AFLAC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. B. Riley increased their target price on shares of AFLAC from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered their price objective on shares of AFLAC from $49.00 to $45.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.38.
AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.04. AFLAC had a net margin of 21.51% and a return on equity of 12.85%. The firm had revenue of $5.58 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.57 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.85 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that AFLAC Incorporated will post 4.08 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 3rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 20th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.34%. AFLAC’s payout ratio is 30.59%.
In other news, Director Joseph L. Moskowitz sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.38, for a total value of $69,570.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 17,779 shares in the company, valued at $824,590.02. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Douglas Wayne Johnson sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.52, for a total transaction of $93,040.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 29,859 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,389,040.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.
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AFLAC Company Profile
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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