Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD lessened its position in Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 7.7% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 30,473 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 2,554 shares during the quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD’s holdings in Aflac were worth $2,480,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in AFL. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Aflac by 1,750.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 23,849,668 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,727,193,000 after buying an additional 22,561,116 shares during the period. AJO LP boosted its position in Aflac by 157.8% during the second 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 during the period. Balyasny Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Aflac by 1,351.2% during the second quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 1,311,615 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $101,886,000 after buying an additional 1,221,231 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Aflac by 3.4% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 31,980,927 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,316,059,000 after buying an additional 1,048,415 shares during the period. Finally, Coho Partners Ltd. boosted its position in Aflac by 85.3% during the second quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 2,186,934 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $169,881,000 after buying an additional 1,006,477 shares during the period. 65.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

AFL has been the subject of several analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of Aflac from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Aflac in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, FBR & Co restated a “market perform” rating and set a $80.00 price target (up from $68.00) on shares of Aflac in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Aflac has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $79.63.

Shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) opened at $83.98 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.06, a quick ratio of 0.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24. The firm has a market capitalization of $33.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.52, a PEG ratio of 2.50 and a beta of 1.00.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.70 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.07. Aflac had a net margin of 12.49% and a return on equity of 12.87%. The business had revenue of $5.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.48 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.74 earnings per share. Aflac’s quarterly revenue was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Aflac Incorporated will post 6.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Aflac declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share 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. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. This is an increase 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 dividend yield of 2.14%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.93%.

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In other Aflac news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 completion of the transaction, the president now owns 298,646 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,035,494.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider James Todd Daniels sold 620 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.49, for a total transaction of $50,523.80. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 15,454 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,259,346.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 28,709 shares of company stock valued at $2,404,680 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

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