Nov. 7, 2014, 1:02 PM
- Citing disappointing growth guidance and continued weakness in the yen (which cuts into revenues), Bank of America downgrades Aflac (AFL -1.1%) to Neutral from Buy.
- The company last week lifted its dividend, boosted its share repurchase target, and guided to 2015 EPS growth of 2-7% on a currency neutral basis, but - after a brief pop - the stock retreated and has failed to make any headway since the news.
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, 3:47 PM| Comment!
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
Jul. 31, 2013, 1:01 PM
- Aflac (AFL +1.8%) hits a new 52-week high today after last night's earnings.
- On the earnings call (transcript), management makes note of its expanded alliance with Japan Post, increasing over time from 1K to 20K the number of post office outlets in which Aflac's cancer products will be offered.
- It's a "game-changer," says Aflac Japan Chairman Charles Lake (who also took to CNBC saying the same thing). Japan Post is the largest insurer in the world with over $1T in assets and none of its 79 agencies have ever sold for Aflac.
- For now, forward guidance on 3rd party sales does not include any contribution from the Japan Post deal.
Jul. 18, 2013, 11:59 AMThe insurance sector (KIE +0.9%), (IAK +0.7%) is boosted at Deutsche Bank thanks to higher interest rates. Lincoln National (LNC +3.1%) is upped to Buy with price target hiked to $45 from $36. Price targets are also raised for already Buy-rated MetLife (MET +1.6%) and Principal Financial (PFG +0.9%), and for Hold-rated Aflac (AFL +0.5%) and Unum (UNM +1.1%). Lincoln is particularly attractive for its interest sensitivity, lower international exposure and reliance on fixed-income AUM fees. | Comment!
Apr. 25, 2013, 11:30 AMAflac (AFL +2.6%) moves sharply higher after Q1 earnings beat estimates and management hints it will accelerate the pace of buybacks (3M shares purchased in Q1 leaves 19.4M authorization remaining). The company expects U.S. sales - which declined in Q1 - to bounce back and retains previous guidance of flat-to-5% sales increase for the year. Management also suggests discomfort with JGBs at such low yields and plans to "be flexible" in terms of asset allocation. (PR) | Comment!
Apr. 5, 2013, 2:56 PMA moderate late-session bounce in the S&P isn't helping many in the insurance sector stuck near the day's lows. Of particular interest is Aflac (AFL -4.1%) as the yen slides and the JGB market encountered a brutal selloff last night. The company presumably has significant exposure to both, but also presumably is hedged? PRU -3.4%, HIG -3.2%, LNC -2.4%. | 3 Comments
Jul. 24, 2012, 4:42 PMMore on Aflac (AFL): Operating earnings rose 3.9% Y/Y, 3.2% if taking out the effect of the stronger yen. Aflac Japan revenue +9.2%, U.S. revenue +5.2%. Annualized ROE of 13.9%. The company guides towards the lower end of 2012 EPS of $6.45-6.52, thanks to the continued low level of investment yields. Shares -1.7% AH. (PR) | Comment!
Apr. 24, 2012, 4:29 PMMore on Aflac (AFL): Q1 easily tops estimates on a 21% jump in revenue. Net earnings nearly doubled Y/Y, due primarily derivatives gains stemming from a stronger yen/dollar exchange rate. The company also raises FY12 guidance, now expecting an EPS of around $6.46 - $6.65. The Street is at $6.47 per share. Shares +4.7% AH. | Comment!
Apr. 24, 2012, 4:18 PM
Jan. 9, 2012, 11:34 AMAflac (AFL -3.7%) is cut to Sell from Neutral at UBS with a reduced price target of $34 from $39, citing remaining overexposure to Europe despite de-risking efforts. UBS also flags the potential for decelerating EPS growth at the insurer, in part because the company could slow share buybacks if significant European credit losses materialize. | 1 Comment
Oct. 12, 2011, 3:18 PMLife insurers are higher after Financial Stability Oversight Council gave preliminary approval yesterday to criteria that largely clears the non-bank financial companies from being considered systemically important.: Aflac (AFL +5.9%), Ameriprise Financial (AMP +4.4%), Genworth Financial (GNW +5.1%), Hartford Financial (HIG +4.4%) and Lincoln National (LNC +6.6%). | 1 Comment
Sep. 30, 2011, 12:47 PMIn a sharp reversal from yesterday's performance, many U.S. bank stocks are down hard, as bad EU inflation data heightens concerns about eurozone exposure fallout. MS -6.9%. GS -3.8%. BK -3.1%. BAC -2.4%. Insurers aren't faring much better. AIG -3.8%. HIG -3.3%. MET -2.9%. AFL -2.3%. (Euro banks) | Comment!
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