AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Monday . The stock traded as high as $88.15 and last traded at $87.60, with a volume of 1781600 shares. The stock had previously closed at $87.64.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on AFL. Citigroup lowered shares of AFLAC from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $82.00 to $77.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating and issued a $82.00 target price on shares of AFLAC in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of AFLAC in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $88.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of AFLAC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 18th. Finally, B. Riley restated a “neutral” rating on shares of AFLAC in a report on Monday, November 6th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $79.79.

The firm has a market capitalization of $34,652.21, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.61 and a beta of 1.02. 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 (NYSE:AFL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.63 by $0.07. AFLAC had a net margin of 12.49% and a return on equity of 12.87%. The company had revenue of $5.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.48 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.74 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that AFLAC Incorporated will post 6.76 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 15th were issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. This is a positive change from AFLAC’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.05%. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.09%.

AFLAC announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to buyback 40,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, insider Audrey B. Tillman sold 310 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.57, for a total transaction of $25,906.70. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 41,937 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,504,675.09. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 25,000 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.83, for a total transaction of $2,095,750.00. Following the sale, the president now owns 298,646 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $25,035,494.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 28,709 shares of company stock valued at $2,404,680 in the last quarter. 3.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Atwood & Palmer Inc. raised its holdings in shares of AFLAC by 320.5% in the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 1,312 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA raised its holdings in shares of AFLAC by 4,338.7% in the 3rd quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 1,376 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after purchasing an additional 1,345 shares in the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new stake in shares of AFLAC in the 2nd quarter valued at about $131,000. ClariVest Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of AFLAC in the 2nd quarter valued at about $150,000. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. raised its holdings in shares of AFLAC by 12.0% in the 2nd quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 1,994 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $154,000 after purchasing an additional 214 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.42% of the company’s stock.

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About AFLAC

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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