Stick With Aflac Incorporated (AFL). The Bull Are Alive And Well

UPWK stock
UPWK stock

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Financial company by 1.80% to 12.75 million shares with purchase of 0.23 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 1.79% valued currently at $453.38 million. In addition, Boston Partners Global Investors,.. raised its holdings by 2.86 million to 8.64 million shares. And American Century Investment Manag.. has lifted its position by 11.55% or 0.74 million shares – to 7.17 million shares.

With over 3.89 million Aflac Incorporated (AFL) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $36.70 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $142.6 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -1.08% and its price on 09/01/20 gained nearly 1.05%. Currently, there are 717.89M common shares owned by the public and among those 651.09M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 11 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for AFL have a consensus price objective of $42.30. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $53.00 and a low of $34.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Aflac Incorporated stock is 3.10 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 10.73% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -7.94% over that period. But an upside of 30.75% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $42.50.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 71 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 33 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 1,339,668 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 38 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 893,582 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Aflac Incorporated are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (Glob. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 19.39 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $689.59 million. The company sold 31669.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.72% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold 89418.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 14.8 million shares valued at over $526.31 million and representing 2.08% of the shares outstanding. Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (Glob sold -0.52 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 7.96 million shares at a value of $283.04 million. Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (Glob now owns shares totaling to 1.12% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) opened at $36.00, down -$0.32 from a prior closing price of $36.32. However, the script later closed the day at $36.70, up 1.05%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -1.08% and -3.95% over the past three months. AFL shares are trading -30.62% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -27.15% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $23.07 and touched a high of $55.07 over the same period. Currently, 3.89 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 3.36 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -0.47%, 1.34%, and -12.39% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) shares accounts for 62.00% of the company’s 717.89M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 32.25%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 4.31% and 29.40% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $25.99B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.84. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 9.18, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $4.00. The company has a PEG of 5.73 and the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.26. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.26% over the week and 2.35% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Aflac Incorporated (AFL) will achieve an EPS of $1.12 for the current quarter, $1.03 for the next quarter and $4.49 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $1.05 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.18. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.16 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 16.70%, and -3.40% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 1.60% over the next five years, compared to 6.40% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 11 brokerage firm advisors rate Aflac Incorporated (AFL) as a “Hold” at a consensus score of 3.10. Specifically, 1 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 7 of the 11 advise that investors “hold,” and 2 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the AFL, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. RBC Capital Mkts stated their Sector Perform rating for the stock in a research note on March 20, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $46-$35. Raymond James coverage for the Aflac Incorporated (AFL) stock in a research note released on July 29, 2019 offered a Outperform rating with a price target of $62. Evercore ISI was of a view on July 16, 2019 that the stock is Underperform, while JP Morgan gave the stock Neutral rating on January 02, 2019, issuing a price target of. Sandler O’Neill on their part issued Buy rating on August 01, 2018.


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