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Aflac stock takes small bounce back

Aflac’s roller coaster stock market ride continued Tuesday as the stock rose nearly 13 percent after getting hammered in previous trading days.

Aflac closed at $22.14 per share, up $2.52 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The move into positive territory comes after the stock lost more than 36 percent of its value Thursday and another 20 percent Monday.

The losses were tagged to analysts concerns about Aflac’s exposure to risky hybrid securities issued by European financial firms.Citigroup upgraded Aflac’s stock from a hold to buy on Tuesday, saying the market over-reacted to news of the European investments.

Citigroup’s upgrade said the “sell-off in Aflac’s shares triggered by market concerns about possible impairments on hybrid preferred securities within its $68.1 billion investment portfolio as significantly over done.”

Aflac officials have not commented on the hit the stock price has taken because the company is in a “quiet period” prior to Monday’s release of fourth-quarter earnings.

Monday’s fall 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.

Last Thursday, Morgan Stanley analyst Nigel Dally recommended investors avoid buying Aflac before the release of fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2.

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