AFLAC Earnings: Lower Net Income, Stock Down

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) reported a lower net income in first quarter, but beat analysts’ estimates. Aflac, Inc., 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 First Quarter

Results: Net income for the accident and health insurance company fell to $395 million (84 cents/share) vs. $636 million ($1.35/share) a year earlier. A decline of 37.9% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 1% to $5.12 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: AFL posted an adjusted income of $1.63 per share, beating the mean analyst estimate of $1.52/share. Estimates ranged from $1.43 per share to $1.55 per share.

Quoting Management: Commenting on the company’s first quarter results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel P. Amos stated: “We are pleased with our overall results in the first quarter of 2011. As we expected, we saw strong sales in our largest operating segment, Aflac Japan, particularly through the bank channel as well as our more recent growth products. Additionally, we were especially encouraged that Aflac U.S. generated positive sales growth, despite lingering economic weakness and following nine consecutive quarters of sales declines. Aflac U.S. has also shown significant recruiting gains largely because of successful, targeted activities, including advertising. As a result of our positive performance in both Japan and the U.S., we posted strong consolidated financial results.”

Key Stats:

Last quarter’s profit decrease breaks a streak of four consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 73.4% from the year earlier while the figure increased 90.1% in third quarter of the last fiscal year, 85% four quarters ago and 11.8% five quarters earlier.

Competitors to Watch: Unum Group (NYSE:UNM), Principal Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:PFG), Triple-S Management Corp. (NYSE:GTS), American Independence Corp. (NASDAQ:AMIC), CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM), Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), HealthMarkets, Inc. (NYSE:UCI), and Citizens Financial Corp. (CFIN).

Today’s Performance: Shares of AFL are trading down 0.8% after hours.

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