Shares of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) have been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the ten ratings firms that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, seven have given a hold recommendation and one has assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $48.25.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. ValuEngine downgraded AFLAC from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. SunTrust Banks upped their target price on AFLAC to $48.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded AFLAC from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $51.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd.

In related news, insider Masatoshi Koide sold 27,120 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.71, for a total value of $1,293,895.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 52,858 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,521,855.18. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Karole Lloyd purchased 2,000 shares of AFLAC stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 22nd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $49.83 per share, with a total value of $99,660.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 22,160 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,104,232.80. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 89,244 shares of company stock valued at $4,363,557 in the last three months. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cordasco Financial Network acquired a new stake in AFLAC during the first quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Financial Advantage Inc. acquired a new stake in AFLAC during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in AFLAC during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $33,000. IMS Capital Management acquired a new stake in AFLAC during the third quarter valued at approximately $35,000. Finally, NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its stake in AFLAC by 59.2% during the first 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 in the last quarter. 68.46% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

AFL stock traded up $0.35 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $48.91. 3,215,327 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,367,179. AFLAC has a 52-week low of $41.45 and a 52-week high of $50.66. The company has a current ratio of 0.06, a quick ratio of 0.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25. The company has a market cap of $36.63 billion, a PE ratio of 11.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.37 and a beta of 0.79.

AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.02 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.08. AFLAC had a return on equity of 13.62% and a net margin of 13.42%. The company had revenue of $5.48 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.47 billion. Equities analysts forecast that AFLAC will post 4.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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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Analyst Recommendations for AFLAC (NYSE:AFL)

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