Aflac profits up 16.4 percent

Aflac Inc.'s second-quarter profits rose 16.4 percent compared to last year, the Columbus-based company announced today.

Net earnings came in at $483 million, or $1.00 per diluted share. That's compared to $415 million, or 84 cents per share, during the second quarter of 2007.

The company missed analysts' expectations by a penny. Nineteen analysts surveyed by Thomsen Financial predicted $1.01 per diluted share.

When it comes to measuring the company's financial performance, Aflac prefers to look at operating earnings, which exclude realized investment gains and losses and other non-recurring items.

Operating earnings rose to $487 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, compared to $407 million, or 82 cents a share, a year ago.

Total revenues for the second quarter hit $4.3 billion, a 15.2 percent increase from $3.8 billion the same time last year.

The Columbus-based supplemental insurer also announced a third-quarter cash dividend — 24 cent per share. It is payable on Sept. 2 to shareholders of record at the close of business Aug. 20.

Aflac shares fell 24 cents to $60.32 today in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Read more of this story in Thursday's Ledger-Enquirer.