Zacks: Analysts Anticipate AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) Will Post Quarterly Sales of $5.44 Billion

Wall Street analysts expect AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) to post $5.44 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Four analysts have made estimates for AFLAC’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $5.49 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $5.34 billion. AFLAC reported sales of $5.51 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 1.3%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Thursday, July 23rd.

On average, analysts expect that AFLAC will report full year sales of $21.69 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $21.43 billion to $22.06 billion. For the next year, analysts expect that the business will report sales of $21.22 billion, with estimates ranging from $20.67 billion to $21.90 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover AFLAC.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 29th. The financial services provider reported $1.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.49 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.12 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year.

AFL has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group cut their price objective on shares of AFLAC from $45.00 to $35.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, April 27th. ValuEngine raised shares of AFLAC from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 6th. Raymond James dropped their target price on shares of AFLAC from $60.00 to $50.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 17th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of AFLAC from $38.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 30th. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of AFLAC from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Friday, March 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. AFLAC has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.51.

Shares of NYSE AFL traded down $0.15 on Wednesday, hitting $34.70. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,874,982 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,014,879. AFLAC has a 12-month low of $23.07 and a 12-month high of $57.18. The company has a market capitalization of $25.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.78, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.05 and a quick ratio of 0.05. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $35.48 and a 200-day moving average of $45.71.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 20th will be issued a $0.28 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 19th. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.23%. AFLAC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 25.23%.

In other news, COO Frederick John Crawford acquired 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $28.69 per share, with a total value of $717,250.00. Following the acquisition, the chief operating officer now directly owns 247,828 shares in the company, valued at $7,110,185.32. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC increased its holdings in shares of AFLAC by 3.0% in the 4th quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 7,056 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $373,000 after acquiring an additional 203 shares during the period. Arjuna Capital increased its holdings in shares of AFLAC by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. Arjuna Capital now owns 53,230 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,816,000 after acquiring an additional 207 shares during the period. Sandy Spring Bank increased its stake in AFLAC by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 60,450 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,198,000 after buying an additional 217 shares during the period. Corient Capital Partners LLC increased its stake in AFLAC by 3.1% during the 4th quarter. Corient Capital Partners LLC now owns 7,456 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $394,000 after buying an additional 225 shares during the period. Finally, Brookstone Capital Management increased its stake in AFLAC by 2.0% during the 4th quarter. Brookstone Capital Management now owns 11,683 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $618,000 after buying an additional 233 shares during the period. 68.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About AFLAC

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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