Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL)’s share price reached a new 52-week high on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $81.75 and last traded at $81.77, with a volume of 1,531,278 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $81.24.

AFL has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Aflac from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 31st. Bank of America Corporation raised shares of Aflac from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $75.00 to $78.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. BidaskClub cut shares of Aflac from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. ValuEngine raised shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised shares of Aflac from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $75.95.

The firm has a market cap of $32.38 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.36 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a 50 day moving average of $78.32 and a 200-day moving average of $74.16.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.83 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.48 billion. Aflac had a return on equity of 13.09% and a net margin of 11.98%. Aflac’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.65 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Aflac Incorporated will post $6.67 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.43 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 21st. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.10%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.94%.

Aflac declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, August 8th that permits the company to buyback 40,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Karole Lloyd acquired 1,000 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $77.01 per share, with a total value of $77,010.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 7,253 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $558,553.53. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.72, for a total value of $194,300.00. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 241,646 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,780,727.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 240,203 shares of company stock valued at $18,612,224 over the last ninety days. 3.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. CWM LLC boosted its position in shares of Aflac by 7.7% in the first quarter. CWM LLC now owns 1,400 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Atwood & Palmer Inc. boosted its position in shares of Aflac by 320.5% in the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 1,312 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new position in shares of Aflac during the first quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new position in shares of Aflac during the second quarter valued at approximately $131,000. Finally, Washington Trust Bank boosted its position in shares of Aflac by 0.9% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 1,704 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the period. 64.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Aflac Company Profile

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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