Sep. 16, 2014, 3:27 PM
- CIO Eric Kirsch joined Aflac (AFL -1.5%) in 2011 with a 3-year plan to boost returns by cutting allocations to JGBs. He also pulled back from private placements after the insurer got fried on yen-denominated loans to European banks. Boosted were holdings of U.S. corporate debt and alternative investments.
- The 2nd 3-year plan begins in 2015, and Kirsch - speaking at a presentation in Tokyo - pledged continued higher allocations to growth assets like private-equity, real estate, infrastructure, hedge funds, and public equity.
- Previously: Calpers exiting hedge funds
Jul. 29, 2014, 6:14 PM
Jul. 29, 2014, 4:38 PM
- Operating earnings of $757M or $1.66 per share vs. $759M and $1.62 one year ago. Weaker yen cut operating earnings by $0.03 per share in Q2.
- $100M, or 1.6M shares repurchased during Q2, bringing 2014 purchases to $515M or 8.1M shares. 4.1M shares remain in buyback authorization.
- Annualized operating ROE of 21.3%, or 22.3% excluding impact of the yen.
- Outlook: Aflac Japan third sector sales for the full year are expected to increase at the low end of previously guided 2-7% range. Aflac U.S. sales "remain disappointing" and are expected to fall 4-8%. EPS is expected to rise 2-5%, with FY EPS of $6.16-$6.30, assuming yen averages 100-105 to the dollar.
- Company has reshuffled the organizational chart, introducing the new position of market director and eliminating the commission-based position of state sales coordinator.
- Conference call tomorrow at 9 ET
- AFL -0.9% AH
- Previously: AFLAC beats by $0.07, beats on revenue
Jul. 29, 2014, 4:11 PM
Jul. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Jul. 8, 2014, 7:25 AM
Jun. 30, 2014, 2:56 PM
- Aflac's (AFL -0.7%) long-term counterparty rating is lifted to A from A-, and the junior subordinated debt rating to BBB+ from BBB. The agency also affirms the AA- financial strength and counterparty ratings on Aflac's core insurance entities. The outlook, however, is negative.
- "We based the upgrade on very strong fixed-charge coverage ratio, 15x as of year-end 2013, moderate financial leverage ... for the current rating level, strong operating company dividend capacity, and liquidity at the holding company relative to its ongoing obligations, such as interest and principal payments on debt," says analyst Deep Banerjee.
- The negative outlook reflects S&P's negative outlook on Japan, and any downgrade of Japan would lead to a similar move on Aflac.
May 23, 2014, 10:32 AM
- KBW upgrades German American Bancorp (GABC +2.1%) to Outperform with $30 price target.
- Janney Montgomery Scott upgrades Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRAA +4.1%) to Buy with $60 price target.
- Barclays downgrades Aflac (AFL -0.4%) to Equal weight.
- Ladenburg Thalmann downgrades Gladstone Investment (GAIN -0.5%) to Neutral.
May 22, 2014, 11:17 AM
- Aflac (AFL -0.6%) is targeting $1.673B in dividends and share repurchases this year vs. $1.474B in 2013. Capital returns fell to as low at $403M in 2009 after peaking at $2.075B in 2008. Repatriation from Japan is expected to be ¥127B ($1.25B).
- Listening in, Sterne Agee says the investor day confirms its positive view on the company and expects profit repatriation to remain high in 2015 and 2016.
- Webcast and presentation slides
Apr. 29, 2014, 5:36 PM
Apr. 29, 2014, 4:57 PM
- Operating earnings of $774M or $1.69 per share vs. $790M and $1.69 a year ago. Weaker dollar/yen exchange rate cut earnings by $0.10. Excluding currency change, operating earnings per share increased 10%.
- 6.5M shares repurchased during Q1 for $415M. 42.7M shares remain under share buyback authorization.
- Book value of $34.53 per share compares to $31.82 at the end of 2013. On an operating basis, annualized ROE in Q1 was 22.7%, or 26% excluding impact of yen.
- Management reiterates guidance of 2-5% increase in operating earnings (on currency-neutral basis) in 2014.
- AFL -0.3% AH, but gained late in the regular session (closing 2.4% higher) after results were mistakenly released before the bell.
- Source: Press Release
- Previously: AFLAC Incorporated beats by $0.10, misses on revenue
Apr. 29, 2014, 3:58 PM| Comment!
Apr. 29, 2014, 3:47 PM| Comment!
Apr. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Apr. 16, 2014, 3:18 PM
- Alongside Barclays' Jay Gelb's upgrade of Lincoln Financial (LNC +2.3%) to Overweight is a downgrade of Reinsurance Group of America (RGA -0.3%) to Equal Weight and cut in the price target to $81 from $88, citing increased competition in the life reinsurance market.
- For Lincoln, Gelb has boosted confidence in the company's ability to generate strong earnings growth despite the low interest rate environment.
- His top picks in the sector remain Prudential (PRU +1.6%), MetLife (MET +0.8%), Aflac (AFL +1.5%), and Protective Life (PL +1.2%), and he has a "positive outlook" on AIG and Hartford Financial (HIG +1.4%).
- "AFL has a top-tier ROE as well as robust share buybacks, and should benefit in 2015 from the Japan Post partnership," writes Gelb, noting yen weakness will hurt GAAP earnings, but the company has hedged profit repatriation back to the States. AIG and HIG, he says, "should deliver substantial share buybacks along with attractive valuations and ultimately higher ROEs."
- ETFs: KIE, IAK, KBWI, KBWP
Feb. 4, 2014, 4:33 PM
AFL vs. ETF Alternatives
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