Piper Sandler Boosts Aflac (NYSE:AFL) Price Target to $80.00

Aflac (NYSE:AFLGet Rating) had its target price lifted by Piper Sandler from $73.00 to $80.00 in a research note released on Friday, The Fly reports. The brokerage currently has an overweight rating on the financial services provider’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on AFL. Raymond James upped their price objective on shares of Aflac from $67.00 to $70.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Monday, October 31st. Royal Bank of Canada upped their price objective on shares of Aflac from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 2nd. StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of Aflac in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. They set a hold rating on the stock. Citigroup increased their price target on shares of Aflac from $61.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Aflac from $69.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Thursday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $65.58.

Aflac Stock Performance

NYSE:AFL opened at $70.94 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.07 and a quick ratio of 0.07. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $62.19 and a two-hundred day moving average of $59.38. The stock has a market cap of $44.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.05, a PEG ratio of 2.67 and a beta of 0.93. Aflac has a 1-year low of $52.07 and a 1-year high of $71.93.

Aflac (NYSE:AFLGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.15 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $4.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.58 billion. Aflac had a net margin of 24.16% and a return on equity of 12.53%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.53 earnings per share. On average, research analysts expect that Aflac will post 5.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Aflac Increases Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.42 per share. This is a positive change from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 14th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.37%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is 20.41%.

Aflac announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, November 8th that allows the company to buyback 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Insider Buying and Selling

In related news, EVP Eric M. Kirsch sold 28,400 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.90, for a total transaction of $2,013,560.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 35,721 shares in the company, valued at $2,532,618.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. In other Aflac news, EVP Eric M. Kirsch sold 28,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.90, for a total value of $2,013,560.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 35,721 shares in the company, valued at $2,532,618.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Toshihiko Fukuzawa sold 1,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.64, for a total transaction of $98,896.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 10,258 shares in the company, valued at approximately $724,625.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 30,100 shares of company stock worth $2,129,547 over the last quarter. 1.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Aflac by 0.6% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 55,153,545 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,099,629,000 after acquiring an additional 352,873 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in Aflac by 0.6% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 16,300,968 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $901,933,000 after buying an additional 89,414 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in Aflac by 3.5% during the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,755,915 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $318,476,000 after buying an additional 192,480 shares in the last quarter. Maj Invest Holding A S boosted its holdings in Aflac by 16.5% during the third quarter. Maj Invest Holding A S now owns 5,061,371 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $325,902,000 after buying an additional 715,304 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. boosted its holdings in Aflac by 62.4% during the first quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 4,936,608 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $317,865,000 after buying an additional 1,897,212 shares in the last quarter. 66.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Aflac

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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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