Market capitalization: $32.1 billion
Write-offs since 2005: 1%
Debt to capital ratio: 14%
You've seen the commercials, but you may not have realized that the life and health insurance company with the hit ad campaign is a hot buy for investors.
The stock is up more than 45% with earnings up 20% since the beginning of 2007, showing rapid growth even as the economy has sputtered. That's because the company has a large amount of business abroad, especially in Japan. So Aflac has benefited from the dollar's weakness.
"Aflac has quite a few things going for them in their favor," said Check Capital Management chief investment officer Steve Check who runs a mutual fund with Aflac as its second-largest holding. "They have an exceptional return on equity and they keep on buying back stock, so there's not a whole lot not to like."
The shares trade at 16.6 times 2008 earnings estimates, which is a bit more expensive than other life insurance companies like Progressive, Assurant and Torchmark. But because the company has fared so well, it still looks like a good buy.
"It's a sold holding, but it's not super cheap," said Check. "But still, you can't go too wrong. For a superior company like this, it's probably not priced too high." NEXT: Bank of Oklahoma Financial Corp.