Aflac boosts capital returns amid "several headwinds"

|About: Aflac Incorporated (AFL)|By:, SA News Editor

Operating earnings of $687M or $1.47 per share fell from $831M or $1.77 per share a year ago, with $0.21 of the decline due to the yen's decline. Excluding the yen's impact, operating earnings fell 5.1%.

About 308K shares repurchased in Q3 for roughly $18.5M, a far slower pace than the rest of the year - for the first 9 months of 2013, 5.6M shares were repurchased for $298M. Management expects full year repurchase total to be $800M, ahead of pervious guidance of $400M-$600M. 2014 buybacks are expected to be $800M-$1B compared to previous guidance of $600M-$900M.

Book value per share of $31.47 vs. $29.46 at end of Q2.

The quarterly dividend is boosted 5.7% to $0.37 per share for annualized yield of 2.21%.

FY2014 operating EPS expected at $6.28-$6.52 if the yen averages ¥95-¥100 to the dollar. It represents a growth rate of 2-5% thanks to buybacks balancing out "several headwinds," including low rates in Japan, spending plans here and in Japan, and an increase in Japan's consumption tax starting in April.

Conference call tomorrow at 9 ET.

AFL -0.7% AH.