Aflac Q4 net earnings up

Aflac Incorporated, a provider of health and life insurance, has reported net earnings of $581 million, or $1.24 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared to $538 million, or $1.15 per diluted share, for the same quarter ended December 31, 2011.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012 were $6.37 billion, compared to $5.98 billion for the same quarter ended December 31, 2011.

Net earnings for the year ended December 31, 2012 were $2.87 billion, or $6.11 per diluted share, compared to $1.94 billion, or $4.12 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2012 were $25.36 billion, compared to $22.17 billion for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Chairman and CEO Daniel Amos said: "We are very pleased with Aflac's financial performance for both the quarter and year. As the year progressed, operating earnings per diluted share were better than expected, and we finished the year toward the high end of our objective of a 3% to 6% increase before the impact of foreign currency.

"I want to reiterate that our objective for 2013 has not changed: To increase operating earnings per diluted share 4% to 7%, or approximately $6.86 to $7.06 per share, on a currency neutral basis. Therefore, if the yen/dollar exchange rate averages 90 yen for the full year, it's likely operating earnings per diluted share will be $6.37 to $6.57 for 2013. I would point out that 2013 earnings comparisons to 2012 will be more difficult because earnings in 2012 were significantly better than we originally anticipated."