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Aflac says investment gains helped 2Q results

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) -- Insurance company Aflac Inc. reported a big jump in second-quarter earnings on Tuesday as it benefited from investment gains, but profit growth was held back by a weak yen and its third-quarter profit guidance was lower than analysts expected.

The company, which provides disability and supplemental insurance in Japan and the U.S., earned $889 million, or $1.90 per share, for the quarter that ended June 30. That was up from $483 million, or $1.03 per share, during the same period last year.

On an operating basis — which strips out the impact of investment gains and currency fluctuations — Aflac earned $759 million, or $1.62 per share, up from $755 million, or $1.61 per share, a year earlier.

Its operating profit would have been higher if not for the weak Japanese yen. Aflac does a lot of its business in Japan, so the weaker yen means that revenue from Japan doesn't translate into as many dollars. Aflac said the value of the yen dropped 19 percent against the dollar compared to last year.

The yen-dollar disconnect was so stark that Aflac reported an 8.6 percent rise in Japanese premium income in yen. But in dollars, that was an 11.8 percent decrease, to $3.7 billion.

Aflac's companywide revenue rose 2.4 percent to $6 billion from a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a profit of $1.51 per share on revenue of $5.84 billion.

U.S. premium income rose 3.5 percent to $1.3 billion.

The company expects to earn $1.41 to $1.51 per share in the third quarter, with a full-year profit of $5.83 to $6.37 per share. Analysts forecast $1.53 per share for the quarter and $6.19 for the year.

Aflac shares fell 16 cents to close at $60.85 before the results were released. They lost another 20 cents to $60.65 in after-hours trading.