Aflac shares fall 17 percent, other insurers down

Columbus Ledger-EnquirerOctober 10, 2008 

Columbus-based supplemental insurer Aflac saw its stock price plummet Thursday to a 52-week low of $37.26.

Aflac stock rebounded slightly in trading on the New York Stock Exchange to close at $39.70 -- a drop of $8.26, or about 17 percent, from Wednesday.

Columbus-based Synovus also saw a 17 percent drop in its stock price Thursday. Shares of Synovus closed at $8.60, down $1.88, but still more than $1 above its 52-week low in July.

It was a rough day for other insurance companies as well. Stock for Prudential Financial Inc. dropped about 23 percent. Lincoln National fell almost 35 percent. And Protective Life Corp. saw a 44 percent drop.

Ken Janke, Aflac senior vice president of investor relations, said the insurance sector overall is taking a beating.

"They're not picking on us," Janke said Thursday. "Investors are concerned over anything financial -- whether it's a brokerage firm, insurance company or bank. Like it or not... insurance companies are viewed as financials. But as bad as it is for us today, it's harder for a lot of other insurance companies."

Janke's issue is that Aflac is fundamentally different as a supplemental insurance company. As for Aflac's investment portfolio, Janke said, it's in the company's nature to take a "very conservative approach when it comes to the balance sheet."

Read the complete story at ledger-enquirer.com

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service