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Press Release Story

Aflac Incorporated Announces First Quarter Results, Affirms 2018 Outlook, Declares Second Quarter Cash Dividend 

COLUMBUS, Ga., April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac Incorporated today reported its first quarter results.

Total revenues were $5.5 billion during the first quarter of 2018, compared with $5.3 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Net earnings were $717 million, or $0.91 per diluted share, compared with $592 million, or $0.73 per diluted share a year ago.

Net earnings in the first quarter of 2018 included pretax net realized investment losses of $98 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared with pretax net losses of $109 million, or $0.14 per diluted share a year ago. Pretax net realized losses for the first quarter of 2018 included $7 million of impairments and loan loss reserve changes. Pretax net realized losses now includes  $46 million from changes in the fair value of equity securities as a result of adopting new accounting guidance during the first quarter of 2018. Net earnings also included a pretax charge of $29 million, reflecting Japan branch conversion costs. The income tax benefit on these net earnings adjustments in the quarter was $24 million.

The average yen/dollar exchange rate in the first quarter of 2018 was 108.05, or 5.1% stronger than the average rate of 113.56 in the first quarter of 2017. Aflac Japan's growth rates in dollar terms for the first quarter were magnified as a result of the stronger yen/dollar exchange rate.

Adjusted earnings* in the first quarter were $821 million, compared with $676 million in the first quarter of 2017. Adjusted earnings per diluted share* increased 25.0% to $1.05 in the quarter, largely reflecting overall favorable pretax margins and a lower effective tax rate as a result of tax reform. The stronger yen/dollar exchange rate increased adjusted earnings per diluted share by $0.03 for the first quarter. Excluding the impact of the stronger yen, adjusted earnings per diluted share increased 21.4% to $1.02.

Total investments and cash at the end of March 2018 were $132.7 billion, compared with $120.5 billion at March 31, 2017. In the first quarter, Aflac repurchased $296 million, or 6.6 million of its common shares.  At the end of March, the company had 91.4 million shares available for purchase under its share repurchase authorizations.

Shareholders' equity was $24.3 billion, or $31.31 per share, at March 31, 2018, compared with $20.3 billion, or $25.55 per share, at March 31, 2017. Shareholders' equity at the end of the first quarter included a net unrealized gain on investment securities and derivatives of $5.2 billion, compared with a net unrealized gain of $4.5 billion at March 31, 2017. Shareholders' equity at the end of the first quarter also included unrealized foreign currency translation loss of $1.3 billion, compared with an unrealized foreign currency translation loss of $1.7 billion at March 31, 2017. The annualized return on average shareholders' equity in the first quarter was 11.7%.

Shareholders' equity excluding AOCI was $20.6 billion, or $26.56 per share at March 31, 2018, compared with $17.7 billion, or $22.25 per share, at March 31, 2017, primarily driven by the adoption of tax reform and the associated $1.9 billion reduction of deferred tax liability. The annualized adjusted return on equity excluding foreign currency impact* in the first quarter was 15.5%.

AFLAC JAPAN

In yen terms, Aflac Japan's premium income, net of reinsurance, was ¥353.3 billion, or 2.6% lower than a year ago, with growth in third sector premium more than offset by the reduction in first sector premium due to savings products reaching premium paid-up status. Net investment income, net of amortized hedge costs, remained stable at ¥63.7 billion. Total revenues in yen were down 2.2% to ¥418.2 billion. Pretax adjusted earnings in yen for the quarter increased 0.9% on a reported basis and 2.7% on a currency-neutral basis. The pretax adjusted profit margin for the Japan segment was 21.1%, compared with 20.5% a year ago.

In the first quarter, premium income in dollars was $3.3 billion, or 2.2% higher than a year ago. Net investment income, net of amortized hedge costs, increased 5.6% to $588 million, largely due to higher-yielding U.S. dollar investments. Total revenues were up 2.7% to $3.9 billion. Pretax adjusted earnings were $818 million, or 6.4% higher than a year ago.

Third sector sales, which include cancer, medical and income support products, decreased 10.4% to ¥17.6 billion in the quarter. Total new annualized premium sales decreased 13.0% to ¥19.2 billion, or $178 million.

AFLAC U.S.

In the first quarter, Aflac U.S. premium income increased 2.7% to $1.4 billion. Net investment income decreased 1.7% to $175 million, reflecting the drawdown of excess capital in the U.S. Total revenues were up 2.2% to $1.6 billion. Pretax adjusted earnings were $337 million, 8.7% higher than a year ago. The pretax adjusted profit margin for the U.S. segment was 21.0%, compared with 19.7% a year ago.

Aflac U.S. total new annualized premium sales increased 0.6% in the quarter to $335 million.

CORPORATE AND OTHER

In the first quarter, total revenue increased 17.9% to $79 million, reflecting an increase in net investment income of $14 million primarily generated by assets transferred as part of the drawdown of excess capital in the U.S. Pretax adjusted earnings were a loss of $46 million, compared with a loss of $52 million a year ago.

DIVIDEND

The board of directors declared the second quarter dividend of $0.26 per share, payable on June 1, 2018 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 23, 2018.

OUTLOOK

Commenting on the company's results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel P. Amos stated: "We are pleased with the company's overall performance for the first quarter. With respect to Aflac Japan's conversion to a subsidiary, I am very pleased that we completed this transaction on time and that it remains within budget. This new corporate structure aligns Aflac with global regulatory frameworks and enhances our financial and business flexibility, while remaining consistent with our current financial strength ratings and enterprise risk management framework.

"Turning to our Japan operations, Aflac Japan, our largest earnings contributor, generated strong financial results for the quarter. As expected, third sector sales faced difficult comparisons, due in part to the launch of our refreshed medical product in the first quarter of 2017 and the planned introduction of our new cancer insurance product following the completion of the branch conversion. Despite this challenge, Aflac Japan generated sales results that were modestly weaker than our expectations. We continue to believe we will see improvements in third sector sales in the second half of the year. As we said during our December outlook call, in 2018, we anticipate that third sector earned premium will continue its steady growth in the 2% to 3% range, reflecting Aflac's stable sales and high persistency.

"With respect to our U.S. operations, we are pleased with the financial performance and strong profitability of Aflac U.S. in the quarter. Our sales results were consistent with our expectation for the first quarter.  We continue to expect full year sales growth of 3% to 5%, with production skewed toward the fourth quarter. We believe we have the right strategy in place for growing our operations in the U.S. Ultimately, we believe our investments in distribution and customer experience objectives will yield strong sales and stable persistency, driving an earned premium growth outlook of 2% to 3% for the year.

"We remain committed to maintaining strong capital ratios on behalf of our policyholders and balancing our financial strength with increasing the dividend, repurchasing shares and reinvesting in our business. I am pleased with the Board's action to approve an increase in the first quarter cash dividend of 15.6%. The dividend increase is supported by the strength of our capital and cash flows. We continue to expect share repurchase will be in the range of $1.1 to $1.4 billion in 2018, which assumes stable capital conditions and the absence of compelling alternatives. At the same time, we recognize that prudent investment in our platform is also critical to our growth strategy and driving efficiencies that will impact the bottom line for the long term.

"Having benefited from the U.S. tax reform enacted in December 2017, we are leveraging the opportunity to accelerate and increase our investments in initiatives that reflect our company values and objectives. As we communicated, we expect to increase overall investment in the U.S. by approximately $250 million over three to five years. These strategic investments target continued growth in the company's U.S. operation, expanded employee benefits and training programs as well as investing in technology and digital businesses.

"I want to reiterate our 2018 earnings guidance. Our first quarter results reflect a strong start to the year and put us on track to produce stable adjusted earnings per diluted share of $3.72 to $3.88, assuming the 2017 weighted-average exchange rate of 112.16 yen to the dollar. If the yen averages 100 to 110 to the dollar for the second quarter, we would expect adjusted earnings, a non-U.S. GAAP measure, to be approximately $0.91 to $1.05 per diluted share in the second quarter. As always, we are working very hard to achieve our earnings-per-share objective while also ensuring we deliver on our promise to policyholders."

ABOUT AFLAC

When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For more than six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative, Aflac U.S. can receive, process, approve and disburse payment for eligible claims in one business day. In Japan, Aflac is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance and insures 1 in 4 households. Aflac insurance products help provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For 12 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2018, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for the 20th consecutive year and included Aflac on its list of the World's Most Admired Companies for the 17th time. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac and One Day PaySM, visit aflac.com or aflac.com/espanol.

A copy of Aflac's Financial Analysts Briefing (FAB) supplement for the quarter can be found on the "Investors" page at aflac.com.

Aflac Incorporated will webcast its quarterly conference call via the "Investors" page of aflac.com at 9:00 a.m. (EST) on Thursday, April 26, 2018.

*See Non-U.S. GAAP Financial Measures for an explanation and definitions of the non-U.S. GAAP financial measures used in this earnings release.

 

AFLAC INCORPORATED AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED INCOME STATEMENT

(UNAUDITED – IN MILLIONS, EXCEPT FOR SHARE AND PER-SHARE AMOUNTS)


THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31,


2018


2017


% Change

Total revenues


$

5,464



$

5,309



2.9

%

Benefits and claims, net


3,042



3,052



(0.3)


Total acquisition and operating expenses


1,440



1,359



6.0


Earnings before income taxes


982



898



9.4


Income taxes


265



306




Net earnings


$

717



$

592



21.1

%

Net earnings per share – basic


$

0.92



$

0.74



24.3

%

Net earnings per share – diluted


0.91



0.73



24.7


Shares used to compute earnings per share (000):







Basic


778,550



802,259



(3.0)

%

Diluted


783,852



808,138



(3.0)


Dividends paid per share


$

.26



$

.22



18.2

%

 

 

AFLAC INCORPORATED AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET

(UNAUDITED – IN MILLIONS, EXCEPT FOR SHARE AMOUNTS)


MARCH 31,


2018


2017


% Change

Assets:







Total investments and cash


$

132,671



$

120,503



10.1

%

Deferred policy acquisition costs


9,933



9,255



7.3


Other assets


4,752



3,892



22.1


Total assets


$

147,356



$

133,650



10.3

%

Liabilities and shareholders' equity:







Policy liabilities


$

105,399



$

97,624



8.0

%

Notes payable


5,372



5,250



2.3


Other liabilities


12,298



10,436



17.8


Shareholders' equity


24,287



20,340



19.4


Total liabilities and shareholders' equity


$

147,356



$

133,650



10.3

%

Shares outstanding at end of period (000)


775,757



796,005



(2.5)

%

 

NON-U.S. GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES1

This earnings release includes references to Aflac's non-U.S. GAAP performance measures, adjusted earnings, adjusted earnings per diluted share, adjusted return on equity, amortized hedge costs, and adjusted book value. These measures are not calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP (GAAP). The measures exclude items that the company believes may obscure the underlying fundamentals and trends in insurance operations because they tend to be driven by general economic conditions and events or related to infrequent activities not directly associated with insurance operations. Management uses adjusted earnings, adjusted earnings per diluted share, and adjusted return on equity to evaluate the financial performance of Aflac's insurance operations on a consolidated basis and believes that a presentation of these measures is vitally important to an understanding of the underlying profitability drivers and trends of Aflac's insurance business. The company believes that amortized hedge costs, which are a component of adjusted earnings, measure the periodic currency risk management costs associated with hedging a portion of Aflac Japan's U.S. dollar-denominated investments and are an important component of net investment income. The company considers adjusted book value important as it excludes accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI), which fluctuates due to market movements that are outside management's control. Definitions of the company's non-GAAP measures and reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures are provided below and in the following schedules.

Due to the size of Aflac Japan, where the functional currency is the Japanese yen, fluctuations in the yen/dollar exchange rate can have a significant effect on reported results. In periods when the yen weakens, translating yen into dollars results in fewer dollars being reported. When the yen strengthens, translating yen into dollars results in more dollars being reported. Consequently, yen weakening has the effect of suppressing current period results in relation to the comparable prior period, while yen strengthening has the effect of magnifying current period results in relation to the comparable prior period. A significant portion of the company's business is conducted in yen and never converted into dollars but translated into dollars for GAAP reporting purposes, which results in foreign currency impact to earnings, cash flows and book value on a GAAP basis. Because foreign exchange rates are outside of management's control, Aflac believes it is important to understand the impact of translating Japanese yen into U.S. dollars. Adjusted earnings, adjusted earnings per diluted share, and adjusted return on equity, all excluding current period foreign currency impact, are computed using the average yen/dollar exchange rate for the comparable prior year period, which eliminates dollar based fluctuations driven solely from currency rate changes.

Aflac defines the non-GAAP measures included in this earnings release as follows:

  • Adjusted earnings are adjusted revenues less benefits and adjusted expenses. The adjustments to both revenues and expenses account for certain items that cannot be predicted or that are outside management's control. Adjusted revenues are GAAP total revenues excluding realized investment gains and losses, except for amortized hedge costs related to foreign currency denominated investments. Adjusted expenses are GAAP total acquisition and operating expenses including the impact of interest cash flows from derivatives associated with notes payable but excluding any nonrecurring or other items not associated with the normal course of the company's insurance operations and that do not reflect Aflac's underlying business performance. The most comparable GAAP measure is net earnings.

  • Adjusted earnings per share (basic or diluted) are the adjusted earnings for the period divided by the weighted average outstanding shares (basic or diluted) for the period presented. The most comparable GAAP measure is net earnings per share.

  • Adjusted return on equity excluding foreign currency impact is calculated using adjusted earnings excluding the impact of the yen/dollar exchange rate, as reconciled with total GAAP net earnings, divided by average shareholders' equity, excluding AOCI. The most comparable GAAP measure is return on average equity (ROE) as determined using net earnings and average total shareholders' equity.

  • Amortized hedge costs represent costs incurred in using foreign currency forward contracts to hedge the foreign exchange risk of a portion of U.S. dollar-denominated assets in the company's Japan segment investment portfolio. These amortized hedge costs are derived from the difference between the foreign currency spot rate at time of trade inception and the contractual foreign currency forward rate, recognized on a straight line basis over the term of the hedge. There is no comparable GAAP financial measure for amortized hedge costs.

  • Adjusted book value is the GAAP book value (representing total shareholders' equity), less AOCI as recorded on the GAAP balance sheet.

  • The estimated impact of tax reform, which is included in GAAP net income and equity, but excluded from adjusted earnings as defined, is a preliminary estimate and may be adjusted for the current and future periods, possibly materially, due to, among other things, further refinement of the company's calculations, changes in interpretations and assumptions the company has made, tax guidance that may be issued and actions the company may take as a result of tax reform.

1 Beginning with the first quarter of 2018, the company began utilizing the term "adjusted earnings" for the measure formerly referred to as "operating earnings," on both a pretax and after-tax basis, as well as an absolute and per-share basis, and the term "adjusted return on equity" for the measure formerly referred to as "operating return on equity." This change only pertained to the label of the measure and did not alter its definition or calculation.

 

RECONCILIATION OF NET EARNINGS TO ADJUSTED EARNINGS1

(UNAUDITED – IN MILLIONS, EXCEPT FOR PER-SHARE AMOUNTS)


THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31,


2018


2017


% Change








Net earnings


$

717



$

592



21.1

%








Items impacting net earnings:







Realized investment (gains) losses


98



109




Other and non-recurring (income) loss


29



20




Income tax (benefit) expense on items excluded
from adjusted earnings


(24)



(45)











Adjusted earnings


821



676



21.4

%

Current period foreign currency impact 2


(21)



N/A




Adjusted earnings excluding current period foreign 
     currency impact 3


$

800



$

676



18.3

%








Net earnings per diluted share


$

0.91



$

0.73



24.7

%








Items impacting net earnings:







Realized investment (gains) losses


0.13



0.14




Other and non-recurring (income) loss


0.04



0.02




Income tax (benefit) expense on items excluded
from adjusted earnings


(0.03)



(0.05)











Adjusted earnings per diluted share


1.05



0.84



25.0

%

Current period foreign currency impact 2


(0.03)



N/A




Adjusted earnings per diluted share excluding 
     current period foreign currency impact 3


$

1.02



$

0.84



21.4

%



1   

Amounts may not foot due to rounding.

2 

Prior period foreign currency impact reflected as "N/A" to isolate change for current period only.

3  

Amounts excluding current period foreign currency impact are computed using the average yen/dollar exchange rate for the comparable prior-year period, which eliminates dollar-based fluctuations driven solely from currency rate changes.


 

 

RECONCILIATION OF U.S. GAAP BOOK VALUE TO ADJUSTED BOOK VALUE 1

(UNAUDITED - IN MILLIONS, EXCEPT FOR SHARE AND PER-SHARE AMOUNTS)


MARCH 31,


2018


2017


% Change

U.S. GAAP book value


$

24,287



$

20,340




Less:







Unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses)


(1,303)



(1,650)




Unrealized gains (losses) on securities and derivatives


5,185



4,452




Pension liability adjustment


(197)



(170)




Total AOCI


3,685



2,632




Adjusted book value 2


$

20,602



$

17,708




Add:







Unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses)


(1,303)



(1,650)




Adjusted book value including unrealized foreign currency 
     translation gains (losses) 3


$

19,299



$

16,058











Number of outstanding shares at end of period (000)


775,757



796,005











U.S. GAAP book value per common share


$

31.31



$

25.55



22.5

%

Less:







Unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses) 
     per common share


(1.68)



(2.07)




Unrealized gains (losses) on securities and derivatives 
     per common share


6.68



5.59




Pension liability adjustment per common share


(0.25)



(0.21)




Total AOCI per common share


4.75



3.31




Adjusted book value per common share 2


$

26.56



$

22.25



19.4

%

Add:







Unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses) 
     per common share


(1.68)



(2.07)




Adjusted book value including foreign currency translation 
     gains (losses) per common share 3


$

24.88



$

20.17



23.4

%



1   

Amounts may not foot due to rounding.

2  

Adjusted book value is the U.S. GAAP book value, adjusted for AOCI (as recorded on the U.S. GAAP balance sheet).

3   

Adjusted book value including unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses) is adjusted book value plus unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses).

 

 

RECONCILIATION OF U.S. GAAP RETURN ON EQUITY (ROE) TO ADJUSTED ROE 1

(EXCLUDING IMPACT OF FOREIGN CURRENCY)


THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31,


2018


2017

Net earnings - U.S. GAAP ROE 2


11.7

%


11.6

%

Impact of excluding unrealized foreign currency translation gains (losses)


(0.9)



(1.2)


Impact of excluding unrealized gains (losses) on securities and derivatives


3.2



3.0


Impact of excluding pension liability adjustment


(0.1)



(0.1)


Impact of excluding AOCI


2.2



1.7


U.S. GAAP ROE - less AOCI


13.9



13.3


Differences between adjusted earnings and net earnings 3


2.0



1.9


Adjusted ROE - reported


16.0



15.2


Less: Impact of foreign currency 4


0.4



N/A


Adjusted ROE, excluding impact of foreign currency


15.5



15.2




1

Amounts presented may not foot due to rounding.

2

U.S. GAAP ROE is calculated by dividing net earnings (annualized) by average shareholders' equity.

3

See separate reconciliation of net income to adjusted earnings.

4

Impact of foreign currency is calculated by restating all yen components of the income statement to the weighted average yen rate for the comparable prior year period. The impact is the difference of the restated adjusted earnings compared to reported adjusted earnings. For comparative purposes, only current period income is restated using the weighted average prior period exchange rate, which eliminates the foreign currency impact for the current period. This allows for equal comparison of this financial measure.


 

 

EFFECT OF FOREIGN CURRENCY ON ADJUSTED RESULTS1

(SELECTED PERCENTAGE CHANGES, UNAUDITED)


THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2018


Including

Currency

Changes


Excluding

Currency

Changes2

Net premium income 3


2.3

%


(1.0)

%

Net investment income 4


5.7



3.5


Total benefits and expenses


1.5



(1.7)


Adjusted earnings


21.4



18.3


Adjusted earnings per diluted share


25.0



21.4




1

Refer to previously defined adjusted earnings and adjusted earnings per diluted share.

2

Amounts excluding currency changes were determined using the same yen/dollar exchange rate for the current period as the comparable period in the prior year.

3

Net of reinsurance

4

Less amortized hedge costs on foreign investments

 

 





2018 ADJUSTED EARNINGS PER SHARE1 SCENARIOS2




















Weighted- Average
Yen/Dollar

Exchange Rate




Adjusted Earnings
Per

Diluted Share




Foreign

 Currency
Impact



100




$

3.95

-

4.11




$

0.24




105




3.85

-

4.01





0.14




110




3.76

-

3.92





0.04




112.163




3.72

-

3.88








115




3.67

-

3.83





(0.05)




120




3.59

-

3.75





(0.13)





1

A non-GAAP financial measure, adjusted earnings per share (basic or diluted) are the adjusted earnings for the period divided by the weighted  average outstanding shares (basic or diluted) for the period presented. In reliance on the "unreasonable efforts" exception in Item 10(e)(1)(i)(B) of SEC Regulation S-K, a quantitative reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measure is not provided for this financial measure. Forward-looking information with regard to the most comparable GAAP financial measure, earnings per share, is not available without unreasonable  effort. This is due to the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of these reconciling items, which would require an unreasonable effort to forecast and we believe would result in such a broad range of projected values that would not be meaningful to investors. For this reason, we believe that the probable significance of such information is low.

2

Table recasts all quarters to the average exchange rate.

3

Actual 2017 weighted-average exchange rate

 

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" to encourage companies to provide prospective information, so long as those informational statements are identified as forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements. The company desires to take advantage of these provisions. This report contains cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected herein, and in any other statements made by company officials in communications with the financial community and contained in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forward-looking statements are not based on historical information and relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments. Furthermore, forward-looking information is subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. In particular, statements containing words such as "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "goal," "objective," "may," "should," "estimate," "intends," "projects," "will," "assumes," "potential," "target", "outlook" or similar words as well as specific projections of future results, generally qualify as forward-looking. Aflac undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.

The company cautions readers that the following factors, in addition to other factors mentioned from time to time, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements: difficult conditions in global capital markets and the economy; exposure to significant interest rate risk; concentration of business in Japan; foreign currency fluctuations in the yen/dollar exchange rate; failure to implement the conversion of the Japan branch to a legal subsidiary; limited availability of acceptable yen-denominated investments; deviations in actual experience from pricing and reserving assumptions; ability to continue to develop and implement improvements in information technology systems; governmental actions for the purpose of stabilizing the financial markets; interruption in telecommunication, information technology and other operational systems, or a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data residing on such systems; ongoing changes in the Company's industry; failure to comply with restrictions on patient privacy and information security; extensive regulation and changes in law or regulation by governmental authorities; changes in tax rates applicable to the company; defaults and credit downgrades of investments; ability to attract and retain qualified sales associates, brokers, employees, and distribution partners; decline in creditworthiness of other financial institutions; subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends to Aflac Incorporated; decreases in the Company's financial strength or debt ratings; inherent limitations to risk management policies and procedures; concentration of the Company's investments in any particular single-issuer or sector; differing judgments applied to investment valuations; ability to effectively manage key executive succession; significant valuation judgments in determination of amount of impairments taken on the Company's investments; catastrophic events including, but not necessarily limited to, epidemics, pandemics, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, war or other military action, terrorism or other acts of violence, and damage incidental to such events; changes in U.S. and/or Japanese accounting standards; loss of consumer trust resulting from events external to the Company's operations; increased expenses and reduced profitability resulting from changes in assumptions for pension and other postretirement benefit plans; level and outcome of litigation; and failure of internal controls or corporate governance policies and procedures.

The estimated impact of tax reform, which is included in GAAP net income and equity, but excluded from adjusted earnings as defined, is a preliminary estimate and may be adjusted for the current and future periods, possibly materially, due to, among other things, further refinement of the company's calculations, changes in interpretations and assumptions the company has made, tax guidance that may be issued and actions the company may take as a result of tax reform.

Aflac Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Aflac)

https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/463356/AFLAC_Logo.jpg

Analyst and investor contact - David A. Young, 706.596.3264 or 800.235.2667; FAX: 706.324.6330 or dyoung@aflac.com

Media contact - Catherine H. Blades, 706.596.3014; FAX: 706.320.2288 or cblades@aflac.com

SOURCE Aflac Incorporated