Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) Shares Sold by Lazard Asset Management LLC

Lazard Asset Management LLC trimmed its stake in shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFLGet Rating) by 14.2% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 1,725 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 285 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Aflac were worth $94,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Texas Permanent School Fund grew its stake in Aflac by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 78,278 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,331,000 after purchasing an additional 458 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its stake in Aflac by 6.6% during the 2nd quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 78,506 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,343,000 after purchasing an additional 4,837 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp grew its stake in Aflac by 10.9% during the 1st quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 73,817 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,753,000 after purchasing an additional 7,237 shares in the last quarter. HM Payson & Co. grew its stake in Aflac by 5.5% during the 1st quarter. HM Payson & Co. now owns 170,960 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,008,000 after purchasing an additional 8,963 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Southern Capital Advisors LLC grew its stake in Aflac by 10.5% during the 2nd quarter. Southern Capital Advisors LLC now owns 38,612 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,136,000 after purchasing an additional 3,669 shares in the last quarter. 66.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on AFL shares. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Aflac from $69.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 17th. Piper Sandler upped their price objective on Aflac from $73.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 18th. Evercore ISI set a $66.00 price objective on Aflac in a research report on Thursday, November 17th. Citigroup upped their price objective on Aflac from $61.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 16th. Finally, StockNews.com started coverage on Aflac in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. One 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. According to MarketBeat.com, Aflac has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $65.58.

Insider Buying and Selling at Aflac

In other Aflac news, EVP Eric M. Kirsch sold 28,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.90, for a total transaction of $2,013,560.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 35,721 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,532,618.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. In other news, Director Toshihiko Fukuzawa sold 1,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.64, for a total transaction of $98,896.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 10,258 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $724,625.12. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Eric M. Kirsch sold 28,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.90, for a total value of $2,013,560.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 35,721 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,532,618.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 52,500 shares of company stock valued at $3,715,467 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Aflac Stock Up 0.0 %

Shares of NYSE AFL opened at $72.00 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $44.77 billion, a PE ratio of 9.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.72 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a quick ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 0.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. Aflac Incorporated has a 52-week low of $52.07 and a 52-week high of $72.54. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $62.60 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.57.

Aflac (NYSE:AFLGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) 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 analyst estimates of $4.58 billion. Aflac had a net margin of 24.16% and a return on equity of 12.53%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.53 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Aflac Incorporated will post 5.25 earnings per share for the current year.

Aflac Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 14th. This is an increase from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.33%. Aflac’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.41%.

Aflac declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 8th that allows the company to buyback 100,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

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