AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $49.89 and last traded at $50.09, with a volume of 93956 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $49.70.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine lowered AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. SunTrust Banks lifted their target price on AFLAC to $48.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Zacks Investment Research raised AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 17th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered AFLAC from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $51.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.36.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25, a current ratio of 0.06 and a quick ratio of 0.06. The company has a market cap of $37.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.01, a P/E/G ratio of 3.40 and a beta of 0.79.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.02 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $5.48 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.47 billion. AFLAC had a return on equity of 13.62% and a net margin of 13.42%. As a group, equities analysts forecast that AFLAC Incorporated will post 4.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 20th were paid a $0.27 dividend. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.16%. This is an increase from AFLAC’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, February 19th. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 25.96%.

In other AFLAC news, Director Douglas Wayne Johnson sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.24, for a total value of $147,720.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 33,035 shares in the company, valued at $1,626,643.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Richard Williams, Jr. sold 1,129 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.97, for a total value of $49,642.13. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 14,577 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $640,950.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 64,765 shares of company stock valued at $3,120,127. Corporate insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BCJ Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of AFLAC during the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,097,000. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in shares of AFLAC by 10.0% during the 4th quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 3,724,671 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $169,696,000 after acquiring an additional 339,996 shares during the period. Belpointe Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of AFLAC by 381.5% during the 4th quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC now owns 11,865 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $541,000 after acquiring an additional 9,401 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of AFLAC during the 4th quarter worth approximately $260,062,000. Finally, Actinver Wealth Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of AFLAC during the 4th quarter worth approximately $204,000. Institutional investors own 66.64% of the company’s stock.

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About AFLAC (NYSE:AFL)

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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