Palisade Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 8.8% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 150,179 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 12,101 shares during the quarter. Aflac makes up 2.3% of Palisade Asset Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 14th largest holding. Palisade Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Aflac were worth $12,223,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. LMR Partners LLP boosted its stake in Aflac by 41.9% in the 1st quarter. LMR Partners LLP now owns 13,346 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $967,000 after purchasing an additional 3,940 shares during the period. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. boosted its stake in Aflac by 526.6% in the 1st quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 44,130 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,196,000 after purchasing an additional 37,087 shares during the period. Rafferty Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Aflac by 695.8% in the 1st quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 161,210 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,675,000 after purchasing an additional 140,952 shares during the period. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd boosted its stake in Aflac by 2.0% in the 1st quarter. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd now owns 55,115 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,991,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the period. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in Aflac by 7.8% in the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 45,650 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,306,000 after purchasing an additional 3,303 shares during the period. 66.69% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In related news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.83, for a total transaction of $2,095,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now directly owns 298,646 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,035,494.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 310 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.57, for a total value of $25,906.70. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 41,937 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,504,675.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 28,709 shares of company stock valued at $2,404,680. Company insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.
Aflac Incorporated (AFL) traded up $0.96 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $84.40. The company had a trading volume of 1,348,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,792,502. The stock has a market capitalization of $32,804.40, a PE ratio of 12.38, a PEG ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24, a quick ratio of 0.07 and a current ratio of 0.07. Aflac Incorporated has a 12 month low of $66.50 and a 12 month high of $85.70.
Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.70 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.63 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $5.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.48 billion. Aflac had a return on equity of 12.87% and a net margin of 12.49%. Aflac’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.74 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Aflac Incorporated will post 6.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Aflac announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, August 8th that allows the company to repurchase 40,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be given a $0.45 dividend. This is a boost from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.13%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is presently 24.93%.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on AFL. B. Riley reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Aflac in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. BidaskClub downgraded Aflac from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. ValuEngine upgraded Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their target price on Aflac from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $79.63.
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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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