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UPDATE: Barclays Capital Downgrades AFLAC On Anticipated Slow EPS Growth

Dwight Einhorn

In a report published Friday, Barclays Capital analyst Jay Gelb downgraded the rating on AFLAC (NYSE: AFL) from Overweight to Equal-Weight, and lowered the price target from $78.00 to $67.00.

In the report, Barclays Capital noted, “We downgrade Aflac to EW from OW because we now expect its operating EPS growth through 2016 (excluding the impact of the yen) to be lower than the life insurance industry median, driven by a lack of margin expansion. We reduce our price target to $67 (9.5x our revised 2016E EPS of $7.00) from $78 (11x our prior 2016E EPS) and lower our EPS estimates. AFL will likely return the majority of annual earnings to shareholders but we anticipate slow EPS growth is unlikely to result in valuation multiple expansion.”

AFLAC closed on Thursday at $61.68.

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