Bridgewater Associates LP Takes $619,000 Position in Aflac Incorporated (AFL)

Bridgewater Associates LP bought a new position in Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund bought 7,969 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $619,000.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of AFL. Alpha Cubed Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Aflac by 1.1% in the first quarter. Alpha Cubed Investments LLC now owns 4,501 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $326,000 after buying an additional 51 shares during the period. Elkhorn Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Aflac in the first quarter worth $1,301,000. First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Aflac by 27.2% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 317,863 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $23,020,000 after buying an additional 68,014 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in shares of Aflac by 5.9% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,899,313 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $209,968,000 after buying an additional 160,752 shares during the period. Finally, Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Aflac in the first quarter worth $204,000. 65.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In other Aflac news, President Kriss Cloninger III sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.06, for a total value of $283,710.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now owns 253,196 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,524,067.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Teresa L. White sold 11,314 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.01, for a total value of $882,605.14. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 26,847 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,094,334.47. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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Shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) opened at 82.81 on Friday. Aflac Incorporated has a one year low of $66.50 and a one year high of $83.39. The company has a market cap of $32.73 billion, a PE ratio of 12.52 and a beta of 0.97. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $81.14 and its 200-day moving average is $76.46.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.83 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.63 by $0.20. Aflac had a return on equity of 13.09% and a net margin of 11.98%. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.48 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.65 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Aflac Incorporated will post $6.69 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 23rd were given a dividend of $0.43 per share. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 21st. Aflac’s payout ratio is currently 25.94%.

Aflac announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, August 8th that allows the company to repurchase 40,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Several research analysts recently commented on AFL shares. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on shares of Aflac from $71.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. FBR & Co reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $80.00 price target (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Aflac in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $66.00 price target on shares of Aflac in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Aflac from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $75.00 to $78.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $77.23.

Aflac Profile

Aflac Incorporated is a business holding company. The Company is involved in supplemental health and life insurance, which is marketed and administered through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac). The Company’s insurance business consists of two segments: Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aflac (NYSE:AFL)

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