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Aflac's (AFL) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Down Y/Y

Aflac Incorporated’s AFL first-quarter 2020 earnings per share of $1.21 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9%. Further, the bottom line improved 8% year over year.

The company’s results reflect strong performance of its U.S. segment, which was driven by increased group sales.

However, total revenues of $5.2 billion missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.1%. The top line also declined 8.8% year over year. This downside can be attributed to higher net investment losses. Pretax net investment losses came in at $448 million for the first quarter, against the year-ago pretax net investment gains of $103 million.

Annualized adjusted return on equity, excluding foreign currency impact, was 8.2%, which declined 680 basis points from the prior-year quarter.

Further, total acquisition and operating expenses increased 3.8% year over year to $1.5 billion.

Aflac Incorporated Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Aflac Incorporated price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Aflac Incorporated Quote

Moderate Results at Aflac Japan

Total revenues remained flat year over year at $3.8 billion owing to a decline of 0.9% in premium income to $3.2 billion. This was partially offset by a rise of 5.2% in net investment income to $642 million. Pre-tax adjusted earnings increased 2.5% from the prior-year quarter to $855 million.

Favorable Performance at Aflac US

Total revenues improved 2.9% year over year to $1.7 billion due to an increase of 1.5% in premium income to $1.5 billion. Net investment income of $177 million remained flat with the prior-year quarter.

Pre-tax adjusted earnings from the U.S. segment were $326 million, up 0.9% year over year, driven by increased benefit ratio.

Share Repurchase Update

The company purchased 10 million shares worth $449 million during the first quarter.

Concurrent with the first-quarter earnings release, the board of directors approved second-quarter dividend of 28 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Jun 1, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business as of May 20.

Solid Financial Position

Total investments and cash as of Mar 31, 2020 were $137 billion, up 4.2% year over year.

At the end of first-quarter 2020, total assets were $151.6 billion, up 4.1% year over year.

Shareholders' equity (excluding AOCI) was $22.2 billion, as of Mar 31, 2019, up 2.8% year over year.

2020 Guidance Withdrawn

Aflac repealed its earnings guidance for 2020 due to the uncertainty prevailing on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zacks Rank & Performance of Other Insurers

Aflac carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Among other insurance industry players, which have reported first-quarter earnings so far, the bottom lines of Chubb Limited CB and First American Financial Corporation FAF outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while that of Globe Life Inc. GL matched the same.

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Aflac Incorporated (AFL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First American Financial Corporation (FAF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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