NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Aflac Inc (AFL) are lower by 1.33% to $58.74 in early market trading Friday, after the company was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" by analysts at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch this morning.
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analysts also lowered its price target to $66 from $73.
The firm cited the Columbus, GA-based company's disappointing growth guidance, as well as continued yen currency weakness for its cut in rating.
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Aflac is a holding company and oversees the operations of its subsidiaries in supplemental health and life insurance, operating in the U.S. and Japan.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates AFLAC INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate AFLAC INC (AFL) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, attractive valuation levels, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."