Hartford Investment Management Co. Cuts Stake in Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL)

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Hartford Investment Management Co. lowered its position in shares of Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) by 11.8% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 63,122 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 8,435 shares during the period. Hartford Investment Management Co.’s holdings in Aflac were worth $3,291,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Clarius Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Aflac by 2.9% during the third quarter. Clarius Group LLC now owns 6,534 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $341,000 after buying an additional 187 shares during the period. CX Institutional grew its stake in Aflac by 18.1% in the second quarter. CX Institutional now owns 1,242 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $67,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. Eads & Heald Wealth Management grew its stake in Aflac by 0.4% in the third quarter. Eads & Heald Wealth Management now owns 42,877 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,235,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC grew its stake in Aflac by 5.3% in the second quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 3,840 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $206,000 after purchasing an additional 193 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its stake in Aflac by 3.8% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 5,444 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $292,000 after purchasing an additional 199 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.80% of the company’s stock.

In related news, EVP Audrey B. Tillman sold 9,782 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.20, for a total transaction of $569,312.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO James Todd Daniels sold 9,079 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.24, for a total value of $519,681.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 35,919 shares of company stock valued at $2,064,532 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have issued reports on AFL. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Aflac from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 14th. The Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on Aflac in a research note on Thursday, December 2nd. They issued a “sell” rating and a $52.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lifted their target price on Aflac from $59.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.17.

Shares of NYSE AFL opened at $56.84 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24, a quick ratio of 0.07 and a current ratio of 0.07. The company has a market cap of $37.60 billion, a PE ratio of 9.23, a P/E/G ratio of 1.93 and a beta of 1.00. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $56.12 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $55.12. Aflac Incorporated has a fifty-two week low of $42.96 and a fifty-two week high of $58.52.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.32 by $0.21. Aflac had a return on equity of 11.81% and a net margin of 18.76%. The business had revenue of $5.24 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.36 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.39 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Aflac Incorporated will post 5.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This is an increase from Aflac’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 15th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.81%. Aflac’s payout ratio is 21.43%.

About Aflac

Aflac, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision financial protection services. It operates through the Aflac Japan and Aflac United States (U.S.) segments. The Aflac Japan segment offers life insurance, death benefits, and cash surrender values. The Aflac U.S. segment sells voluntary supplemental insurance products for people who already have major medical or primary insurance coverage.

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