The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Grows Holdings in AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL)

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its stake in AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 6.1% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 803,082 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 46,105 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company’s holdings in AFLAC were worth $40,154,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in AFL. Cordasco Financial Network bought a new stake in AFLAC during the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. Gables Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in AFLAC by 276.9% during the 1st quarter. Gables Capital Management Inc. now owns 490 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $25,000 after buying an additional 360 shares during the last quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in AFLAC by 203.5% during the 1st quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 601 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $29,000 after buying an additional 403 shares during the last quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in AFLAC by 59.2% during the 1st quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 769 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 286 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rational Advisors LLC raised its holdings in AFLAC by 59.2% during the 1st quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 769 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 286 shares during the last quarter. 66.75% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE AFL traded up $0.28 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $54.32. The company had a trading volume of 406,402 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,237,553. The company has a current ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23. AFLAC Incorporated has a one year low of $41.45 and a one year high of $54.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $40.66 billion, a PE ratio of 13.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.70 and a beta of 0.71.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $5.66 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.46 billion. AFLAC had a net margin of 14.26% and a return on equity of 13.49%. AFLAC’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.05 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts predict that AFLAC Incorporated will post 4.3 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 3rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 22nd were paid a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 21st. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.99%. AFLAC’s payout ratio is 25.96%.

Several research analysts have commented on the stock. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of AFLAC from $45.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 22nd. Raymond James upped their price objective on shares of AFLAC from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. UBS Group decreased their price objective on shares of AFLAC from $50.00 to $49.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, March 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $50.09.

In other AFLAC news, Director Karole Lloyd purchased 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 22nd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $49.83 per share, for a total transaction of $99,660.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 22,160 shares in the company, valued at $1,104,232.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Albert Riggieri sold 5,247 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.39, for a total transaction of $274,890.33. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 10,698 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $560,468.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 177,332 shares of company stock valued at $9,078,988. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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AFLAC Company Profile

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for AFLAC (NYSE:AFL)

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