AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL – Get Rating) by 332.5% in the 2nd quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 33,249 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 25,562 shares during the quarter. AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Aflac were worth $1,840,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of AFL. National Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Aflac by 26.8% during the first quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,282 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $341,000 after acquiring an additional 1,115 shares during the period. Waldron Private Wealth LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aflac during the 1st quarter worth about $201,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Aflac by 13.1% during the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 287,635 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $18,521,000 after purchasing an additional 33,301 shares during the period. Gladstone Institutional Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in Aflac in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $422,000. Finally, Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Aflac by 5.9% in the 1st quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 5,390 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $347,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. 66.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Aflac Stock Up 0.0 %
NYSE AFL opened at $72.00 on Thursday. Aflac Incorporated has a 1-year low of $52.07 and a 1-year high of $72.54. The company has a market capitalization of $44.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.18, a PEG ratio of 2.72 and a beta of 0.93. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.60 and its two-hundred day moving average is $59.57. The company has a current ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 0.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31.
Aflac declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 8th that permits the company to buyback 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
Aflac Increases Dividend
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 15th will be given a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 14th. This is a positive change from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.33%. Aflac’s payout ratio is 20.41%.
Insiders Place Their Bets
In other news, Director Toshihiko Fukuzawa sold 1,400 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.64, for a total value of $98,896.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 10,258 shares in the company, valued at $724,625.12. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In other news, EVP Audrey B. Tillman sold 22,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.80, for a total transaction of $1,585,920.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 151,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,740,784.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Toshihiko Fukuzawa sold 1,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.64, for a total value of $98,896.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 10,258 shares in the company, valued at approximately $724,625.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 52,500 shares of company stock valued at $3,715,467. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on AFL shares. Piper Sandler increased their price objective on Aflac from $73.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 18th. Raymond James raised their price target on shares of Aflac from $67.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 31st. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Aflac from $61.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 16th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Aflac from $69.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 17th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price target on Aflac from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $65.58.
Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, provides supplemental health and life insurance products. It operates through two segments, Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. The Aflac Japan segment offers cancer, medical, nursing care income support, GIFT, and whole and term life insurance products, as well as WAYS and child endowment plans under saving type insurance products in Japan.
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