Zacks: Analysts Anticipate AFLAC Incorporated (AFL) to Announce $0.95 Earnings Per Share

Wall Street brokerages expect AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) to announce earnings per share of $0.95 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have made estimates for AFLAC’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.96 and the lowest is $0.91. AFLAC posted earnings per share of $0.80 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 18.8%. The firm is scheduled to report its next earnings results on Wednesday, January 30th.

On average, analysts expect that AFLAC will report full year earnings of $4.09 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.06 to $4.11. For the next year, analysts expect that the business will post earnings of $4.14 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.10 to $4.20. Zacks’ EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for AFLAC.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.04. AFLAC had a return on equity of 12.85% and a net margin of 21.51%. The business had revenue of $5.58 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.57 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.85 EPS.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on AFL shares. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on AFLAC from $48.00 to $46.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, November 13th. ValuEngine cut AFLAC from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research cut AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of AFLAC in a research report on Wednesday, October 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered their price objective on AFLAC from $49.00 to $45.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.38.

Shares of NYSE:AFL traded down $0.30 on Friday, reaching $43.25. The company had a trading volume of 3,814,752 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,309,218. AFLAC has a 52-week low of $41.41 and a 52-week high of $48.19. The company has a market capitalization of $33.15 billion, a PE ratio of 12.72, a P/E/G ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a current ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st were given a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 20th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.40%. AFLAC’s payout ratio is 30.59%.

In other AFLAC news, Director Joseph L. Moskowitz sold 1,500 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.38, for a total transaction of $69,570.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 17,779 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $824,590.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Douglas Wayne Johnson sold 2,000 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.52, for a total value of $93,040.00. Following the sale, the director now directly 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. 3.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Marshall Wace North America L.P. lifted its position in AFLAC by 59.6% during the 3rd quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 12,133 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $571,000 after acquiring an additional 4,533 shares during the period. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new stake in AFLAC during the 3rd quarter worth about $221,000. Great Lakes Advisors LLC lifted its position in AFLAC by 0.6% during the 3rd quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 64,325 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,028,000 after acquiring an additional 364 shares during the period. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its holdings in shares of AFLAC by 17.6% in the 3rd quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,728,361 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $81,354,000 after buying an additional 258,617 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of AFLAC by 0.8% in 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 buying an additional 505,341 shares during the period. 66.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About AFLAC

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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