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To Buy Or Not To Buy Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) Stock?

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) price on Friday, March 17, fall -1.90% below its previous day’s close as a downside momentum from buyers pushed the stock’s value to $61.29.

A look at the stock’s price movement, the close in the last trading session was $62.48, moving within a range at $60.69 and $62.22. The beta value (5-Year monthly) was 0.92 while the PE ratio in trailing twelve months stood at 9.34. Turning to its 52-week performance, $74.01 and $52.07 were the 52-week high and 52-week low respectively. Overall, AFL moved -11.52% over the past month.

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Aflac Incorporated’s market cap currently stands at around $38.00 billion, with investors looking forward to this quarter’s earnings report slated for Apr 26, 2023. The company has a Forward Dividend ratio of 1.68, with its dividend yield at 2.74%. As such, investors might be keen on an upside in the stock’s price ahead of the scheduled earnings report. Analysts project the company’s earnings per share (EPS) to be $1.41, which has seen fiscal year 2023 EPS growth forecast to increase to $5.69 and about $6.06 for fiscal year 2024. Per the data, EPS growth is expected to be 0.40% for 2023 and 6.50% for the next financial year.

Analysts have a consensus estimate of $4.68 billion for the company’s revenue for the quarter, with a low and high estimate of $4.53 billion and $4.79 billion respectively. The average forecast suggests down to a -11.30% growth in sales growth compared to quarterly growth in the same period last fiscal year. Wall Street analysts have also projected the company’s year-on-year revenue for 2023 to grow to $18.62 billion, representing a -4.50% decline on that reported in the last financial year.

Revisions could be used as tool to get short term price movement insight, and for the company that in the past seven days was 4 upward and no downward review(s). Turning to the stock’s technical picture we see that short term indicators suggest on average that AFL is a 50% Sell. On the other hand, the stock is on average a Hold as suggested by medium term indicators while long term indicators are putting the stock in 50% Sell category.

15 analyst(s) have given their forecast ratings for the stock on a scale of 1.00-5.00 for a strong buy to strong sell recommendation. A total of 11 analyst(s) rate the stock as a Hold, 2 recommend AFL as a Buy and 1 give it an Overweight rating. Meanwhile, 0 analyst(s) rate the stock as Underweight and 1 say it is a Sell. As such, the average rating for the stock is Hold which could provide an opportunity for investors keen on increasing their holdings of the company’s stock.

The technical evaluation for the stock shows the PEG ratio is 8.27, with AFL’s current price about -7.93% and -11.81% off the 20-day and 50-day simple moving averages respectively. The Relative Strength Index (RSI, 14) currently prints 28.27, while 7-day volatility ratio is 2.94% and 2.10% in the 30-day chart. Further, Aflac Incorporated (AFL) has a beta value of 0.95, and an average true range (ATR) of 1.63.

In the market, a comparison of Aflac Incorporated (AFL) and its peers suggest the former has performed considerably weaker. Data shows AFL’s intraday price has changed -1.90% in last session and -2.12% over the past year. Comparatively, Cigna Corporation (CI) has moved -1.81% on the day and only 13.45% in the past 12 months. Looking at another peer, we see that Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) price has dipped -5.07% on the day. However, the stock is -31.54% off its price a year ago. Moreover, MetLife Inc. (MET) is also down -4.89% in trading on the day while keeping a a downtrend of -18.74% over the past year. If we look at the PE ratio, we find that Aflac Incorporated’s ratio stands at 9.34 compared to Cigna Corporation’s 12.61. Elsewhere, the overall performance for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial shows that the indexes are down -1.10% and -1.19% respectively in the last trading.

If we refocus on Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL), historical trading data shows that trading volumes averaged 3.02 million over the past 10 days and 2.66 million over the past 3 months. The company’s latest data on shares outstanding shows there are 619.68 million shares.

The 0.10% of Aflac Incorporated’s shares are in the hands of company insiders while institutional holders own 60.60% of the company’s shares. Also important is the data on short interest which shows that short shares stood at 9.39 million on Jan 30, 2023, giving us a short ratio of 3.07. The data shows that as of Jan 30, 2023 short interest in Aflac Incorporated (AFL) stood at 1.53% of shares outstanding, with shares short falling to 9.99 million registered in Dec 29, 2022. Current price change has pushed the stock -14.80% YTD, which shows the potential for further growth is there. It is this reason that could see investor optimism for the AFL stock continues to rise going into the next quarter.

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