Traders Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Aflac (AFL)

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock traders acquired 36,241 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 2,953% compared to the typical volume of 1,187 call options.

In related news, Director Joseph L. Moskowitz acquired 550 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $89.13 per share, with a total value of $49,021.50. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 9,263 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $825,611.19. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider June P. Howard sold 2,648 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.33, for a total transaction of $239,193.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Aflac by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 48,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,240,000 after purchasing an additional 585 shares during the period. Somerset Trust Co boosted its position in shares of Aflac by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Somerset Trust Co now owns 24,941 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,190,000 after purchasing an additional 641 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans boosted its position in shares of Aflac by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 26,923 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,364,000 after purchasing an additional 644 shares during the period. GWM Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Aflac by 8.5% in the fourth quarter. GWM Advisors LLC now owns 8,469 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $762,000 after purchasing an additional 667 shares during the period. Finally, Lingohr & Partner Asset Management GmbH boosted its position in shares of Aflac by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. Lingohr & Partner Asset Management GmbH now owns 26,652 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,339,000 after purchasing an additional 695 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 41.95% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. JPMorgan Chase decreased their price objective on shares of Aflac to $47.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Aflac from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 3rd. Barclays decreased their price objective on shares of Aflac to $45.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, March 21st. Wells Fargo set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Aflac and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Aflac from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.46.

Shares of AFL stock opened at $45.53 on Friday. Aflac has a 12 month low of $44.95 and a 12 month high of $45.35. The company has a market cap of $35.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.56, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.05 and a quick ratio of 0.05.

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.08. Aflac had a net margin of 20.61% and a return on equity of 12.39%. The business had revenue of $5.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.48 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.47 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Aflac will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 23rd will be given a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 22nd. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.28%. Aflac’s payout ratio is currently 30.59%.

About Aflac

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, 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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