Jefferies Maintains Aflac (AFL) Hold Recommendation

Fintel reports that on September 14, 2023, Jefferies maintained coverage of Aflac (NYSE:AFL) with a Hold recommendation.

Analyst Price Forecast Suggests 0.84% Upside

As of August 31, 2023, the average one-year price target for Aflac is 77.03. The forecasts range from a low of 58.58 to a high of $90.30. The average price target represents an increase of 0.84% from its latest reported closing price of 76.39.

See our leaderboard of companies with the largest price target upside.

The projected annual revenue for Aflac is 18,143MM, a decrease of 4.44%. The projected annual non-GAAP EPS is 5.51.

Aflac Declares $0.42 Dividend

On July 31, 2023 the company declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.42 per share ($1.68 annualized). Shareholders of record as of August 23, 2023 received the payment on September 1, 2023. Previously, the company paid $0.42 per share.

At the current share price of $76.39 / share, the stock’s dividend yield is 2.20%.

Looking back five years and taking a sample every week, the average dividend yield has been 2.52%, the lowest has been 1.91%, and the highest has been 4.36%. The standard deviation of yields is 0.37 (n=236).

The current dividend yield is 0.86 standard deviations below the historical average.

Additionally, the company’s dividend payout ratio is 0.22. The payout ratio tells us how much of a company’s income is paid out in dividends. A payout ratio of one (1.0) means 100% of the company’s income is paid in a dividend. A payout ratio greater than one means the company is dipping into savings in order to maintain its dividend – not a healthy situation. Companies with few growth prospects are expected to pay out most of their income in dividends, which typically means a payout ratio between 0.5 and 1.0. Companies with good growth prospects are expected to retain some earnings in order to invest in those growth prospects, which translates to a payout ratio of zero to 0.5.

The company’s 3-Year dividend growth rate is 0.50%, demonstrating that it has increased its dividend over time.

What is the Fund Sentiment?

There are 1941 funds or institutions reporting positions in Aflac. This is a decrease of 44 owner(s) or 2.22% in the last quarter. Average portfolio weight of all funds dedicated to AFL is 0.28%, a decrease of 2.84%. Total shares owned by institutions decreased in the last three months by 1.72% to 420,647K shares. AFL / Aflac Inc. Put/Call Ratios The put/call ratio of AFL is 0.77, indicating a bullish outlook.

What are Other Shareholders Doing?

AFL / Aflac Inc. Shares Held by Institutions

Japan Post Holdings Co. holds 52,300K shares representing 8.80% ownership of the company. No change in the last quarter.

VTSMX – Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares holds 16,933K shares representing 2.85% ownership of the company. In it’s prior filing, the firm reported owning 17,139K shares, representing a decrease of 1.22%. The firm decreased its portfolio allocation in AFL by 1.39% over the last quarter.

Wells Fargo holds 16,415K shares representing 2.76% ownership of the company. In it’s prior filing, the firm reported owning 16,308K shares, representing an increase of 0.66%. The firm increased its portfolio allocation in AFL by 211.30% over the last quarter.

VFINX – Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Shares holds 13,091K shares representing 2.20% ownership of the company. In it’s prior filing, the firm reported owning 13,064K shares, representing an increase of 0.21%. The firm decreased its portfolio allocation in AFL by 1.81% over the last quarter.

Geode Capital Management holds 11,919K shares representing 2.01% ownership of the company. In it’s prior filing, the firm reported owning 11,888K shares, representing an increase of 0.26%. The firm decreased its portfolio allocation in AFL by 1.89% over the last quarter.

Aflac Background Information
(This description is provided by the company.)

Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company, helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated’s subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan, where it insures 1 in 4 households. Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for 20 consecutive years. For 14 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. In 2020, Fortune included Aflac Incorporated on its list of World’s Most Admired Companies for the 19th time, and Bloomberg added Aflac Incorporated to its Gender-Equality Index, which tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency.

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This story originally appeared on Fintel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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