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AFLAC Inc Earnings: Second Straight Quarter of Rising Net Income

S&P 500 component AFLAC Incorporated reported its results for the fourth quarter. Aflac, a general business holding company, provides supplemental health and life insurance through its subsidiaries in the United States and Japan.

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AFLAC Incorporated Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the accident and health insurance company rose to $546 million ($1.17 per share) vs. $437 million (92 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 24.9% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 12.9% to $5.98 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: AFL reported adjusted net income of $1.48 per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of $1.51 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $6.06 billion.

Quoting Management: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel P. Amos stated: “Aflac had another strong year. Growth of operating earnings per diluted share was in line with our goal of an 8% increase before the impact of foreign currency. That result was also consistent with guidance we provided when we released third quarter results. We had conveyed in the third quarter that following nine months of restrained expenditures, we planned to increase spending on IT and marketing initiatives in the fourth quarter to strengthen our business, and that’s exactly what we did. I am pleased that 2011 marked the 22nd consecutive year in which we achieved our earnings objective.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 11% to $5.99 billion in the third quarter. The figure rose 2.2% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 1% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company fell short of forecasts after beating estimates in the previous two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped the mark by 6 cents, and in the second quarter, it was ahead by 2 cents.

Net income has increased 3.3% year over year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, when income climbed 73.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Looking Forward: The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year is steady at $1.66 a share. The average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen to $6.36 per share from $6.37 seven days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Unum Group , Principal Financial Group, Inc. , Triple-S Management Corp. , American Independence Corp. , CIGNA Corporation , WellPoint, Inc. , Universal American Corp. , Humana Inc. and HealthMarkets, Inc. .

Stock Performance: Shares of AFL were down 0.4% from the previous close.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)


To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com