Legal & General Group Plc Buys 137,860 Shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL)

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Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 2.5% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 5,562,843 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 137,860 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc owned approximately 0.78% of AFLAC worth $190,896,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. MUFG Securities EMEA plc increased its position in shares of AFLAC by 8.3% during the fourth quarter. MUFG Securities EMEA plc now owns 159,719 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,449,000 after acquiring an additional 12,219 shares in the last quarter. Cognios Capital LLC increased its position in shares of AFLAC by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. Cognios Capital LLC now owns 44,430 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,349,000 after acquiring an additional 498 shares in the last quarter. ING Groep NV increased its position in shares of AFLAC by 9.0% during the fourth quarter. ING Groep NV now owns 50,348 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,663,000 after acquiring an additional 4,144 shares in the last quarter. Guinness Asset Management Ltd increased its position in shares of AFLAC by 2.0% during the first quarter. Guinness Asset Management Ltd now owns 842,450 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $28,846,000 after acquiring an additional 16,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its position in shares of AFLAC by 21.6% during the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 2,974,675 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $101,853,000 after acquiring an additional 529,200 shares in the last quarter. 67.37% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other AFLAC news, COO Frederick John Crawford purchased 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $28.69 per share, with a total value of $717,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 247,828 shares in the company, valued at $7,110,185.32. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several research analysts recently commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on shares of AFLAC from $45.00 to $35.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, April 27th. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of AFLAC from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $46.00 to $35.00 in a report on Friday, March 20th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of AFLAC from $38.00 to $40.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 30th. Piper Sandler cut their price target on shares of AFLAC from $47.00 to $45.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, April 3rd. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of AFLAC from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, March 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $45.51.

Shares of NYSE AFL traded down $2.54 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $36.55. 2,373,027 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,491,696. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $36.24 and its 200-day simple moving average is $44.16. The company has a quick ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 0.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. The stock has a market capitalization of $29.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.44, a P/E/G ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.89. AFLAC Incorporated has a twelve month low of $23.07 and a twelve month high of $57.18.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 29th. The financial services provider reported $1.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10 by $0.11. AFLAC had a net margin of 13.49% and a return on equity of 11.84%. The company had revenue of $5.16 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.49 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.12 EPS. AFLAC’s quarterly revenue was down 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that AFLAC Incorporated will post 4.34 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 20th were given a dividend of $0.28 per share. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 19th. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio is 25.23%.

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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