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Monday, November 30, 2009

* Aflac Incorporated (AFL) Dividend Stock Analysis

This article originally appeared on The DIV-Net November 23, 2009.

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of Aflac Incorporated (AFL). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

Company Description: Aflac Incorporated engages in the marketing and sale of supplemental health and life insurance plans in the United States and Japan.

Fair Value: I consider four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
  1. Avg. High Yield Price
  2. 20-Year DCF Price
  3. Avg. P/E Price
  4. Graham Number
AFL is trading at a discount to 1.) and 3.) above. The stock is trading at a 10.2% premium to its calculated fair value of $40.01. AFL did not earn any Stars in this section.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
  1. Free Cash Flow Payout
  2. Debt To Total Capital
  3. Key Metrics
  4. Dividend Growth Rate
  5. Years of Div. Growth
  6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%
AFL earned three Stars in this section for 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. AFL earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45% and it earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% means that dividends grew on average in excess of 15% for each consecutive 4 year period over the last 10 years (1999-2002, 2000-2003, 2001-2004, etc.) I consider this a key metric since dividends will double every 5 years if they grow by 15%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1973 and has increased its dividend payments for 27 consecutive years.

Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA)? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
  1. NPV MMA Diff.
  2. Years to > MMA
AFL earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $7,384. This amount is in excess of the $800 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as AFL has. If AFL grows its dividend at 16.7% per year, it will take 3 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.9%. AFL earned a check for the Key Metric 'Years to >MMA' since its 3 years is less than the 5 year target.

Other: AFL is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index.

Conclusion: AFL did not earn any Stars in the Fair Value section, earned three Stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned one Star in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of four Stars. This quantitatively ranks AFL as a 4 Star-Buy.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $97.73 before AFL's NPV MMA Differential decreased to the $800 minimum that I look for in a stock with 27 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 1.15%.

Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the target $800 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 9.5%. This dividend growth rate is significantly less than the 16.7% used in this analysis, thus providing a margin of safety. AFL has a risk rating of 1.25 which classifies it as a low risk stock.

Operating in the the U.S. and Japan, two largest insurance markets in the world, AFL has built a tremendous low-cost distribution system. AFL has long been one of my favorite financial stocks. Its debt and cash flow positions are excellent. With revenues, cash flow and dividends rising, AFL is an attractive company. However, it is currently trading at a 10% to my buy price of $40.01. Before adding to my position, I will wait for its price to drop closer to my buy price. For additional information, including the stock's dividend history, please refer to its data page.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. The above quantitative stock analysis, including the Star rating, is mechanically calculated and is based on historical information. The analysis assumes the stock will perform in the future as it has in the past. This is generally never true. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. See my Disclaimer for more information.


Full Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I was long in AFL (1.7% of my Income Portfolio). What are your thoughts on AFL?

Tags: [AFL]

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