Aflac (NYSE:AFL) saw unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Investors purchased 36,241 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 2,953% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,187 call options.

In other Aflac news, insider June P. Howard sold 2,648 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.33, for a total transaction of $239,193.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Joseph L. Moskowitz bought 550 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $89.13 per share, for a total transaction of $49,021.50. Following the purchase, the director now owns 9,263 shares in the company, valued at $825,611.19. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AFL. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Aflac by 105.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 51,061,717 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,234,459,000 after buying an additional 26,264,017 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Aflac by 96.3% in the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 10,631,066 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $465,215,000 after buying an additional 5,215,905 shares during the period. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. raised its holdings in Aflac by 681.1% in the 1st quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 4,891,075 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $214,033,000 after buying an additional 4,264,932 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in Aflac by 111.3% in the 1st quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 6,070,376 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $265,639,000 after buying an additional 3,196,878 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Aflac by 98.9% in the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,240,111 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $273,050,000 after buying an additional 3,103,311 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 41.95% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have issued reports on AFL. ValuEngine raised shares of Aflac from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. JPMorgan Chase set a $47.00 target price on shares of Aflac and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 26th. Barclays lowered their target price on shares of Aflac to $45.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, March 21st. Wells Fargo set a $48.00 target price on shares of Aflac and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Aflac from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.46.

NYSE AFL opened at $45.53 on Friday. Aflac has a 52 week low of $44.95 and a 52 week high of $45.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a quick ratio of 0.05 and a current ratio of 0.05. The firm has a market cap of $35.15 billion, a PE ratio of 12.56, a P/E/G ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.94.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.08. Aflac had a return on equity of 12.39% and a net margin of 20.61%. The business had revenue of $5.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.47 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Aflac will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 23rd will be issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 22nd. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.28%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is presently 30.59%.

Aflac Company Profile

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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