Equities Analysts Issue Forecasts for AFLAC Incorporated’s Q4 2017 Earnings (AFL)
AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) – Stock analysts at B. Riley issued their Q4 2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for AFLAC in a research note issued to investors on Monday. B. Riley analyst R. Binner anticipates that the financial services provider will post earnings per share of $1.54 for the quarter. B. Riley has a “Neutral” rating on the stock.
AFL has been the topic of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 21st. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of AFLAC in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $88.00 price objective on the stock. UBS reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of AFLAC in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Bank of America cut shares of AFLAC from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday, September 8th. Finally, Citigroup cut shares of AFLAC from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $82.00 to $77.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $79.79.
AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $5.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.48 billion. AFLAC had a net margin of 12.49% and a return on equity of 12.87%. The firm’s revenue was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.74 earnings per share.
AFLAC declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, August 8th that allows the company to buyback 40,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 15th were issued a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.05%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 14th. This is a boost from AFLAC’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.09%.
In related news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.83, for a total value of $2,095,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 298,646 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,035,494.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Douglas Wayne Johnson sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.58, for a total transaction of $125,370.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 13,733 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,147,804.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 28,709 shares of company stock worth $2,404,680. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AFL. AJO LP grew its position in AFLAC by 157.8% in 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 in the last quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 1,351.2% during the 2nd 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 in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 392.0% during the 3rd 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 in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 244.3% during the 3rd 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Coho Partners Ltd. boosted its position in shares of AFLAC by 85.3% during the 2nd 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 in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.42% of the company’s stock.
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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