For the second time in three trading days, Columbus, Georgia-based supplemental insurance company Aflac saw its stock take a big hit.
Shares of Aflac closed Monday at $19.62, down $4.87 or nearly 20 percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Last Thursday, Aflac stock lost 36 percent of its value, or $13.37 per share.
The stock price is at its lowest in more than nine years.
The downward run has eaten 57 percent of the stock’s value since closing at $46.35 per share on Jan. 2.
In terms of dollars and cents, if someone owned 5,000 shares of Aflac on Jan. 2, it was worth more than $231,000. Those same 5,000 shares Monday afternoon had a value of $98,100.
Using another example, if someone held a $25,000 investment in Aflac stock on Jan. 2, its value at market close Monday would have been $10,750.
The latest loss appeared to be triggered when a Deutsche Bank analyst downgraded the stock because of its exposure to risky hybrid securities issued by European financial firms.
Darin Arita said the insurer’s investments in banks, including money-losing Royal Bank of Scotland, may be diluted by European governments, according to Bloomberg.com.
“The rapidly deteriorating state of the financial system has heightened the risks,” Arita said in a note to investors today explaining why he lowered the rating.
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