July 24, 2012 / 9:43 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Aflac cuts full-year operating profit forecast

* Cuts FY oper EPS outlook to $6.45-$6.52 vs est $6.56

* Sees FY Aflac Japan sales growing 22-25 pct

* Sees Q3 oper EPS $1.64-$1.69 vs est $1.63

* Q2 oper EPS $1.61, in-line with est

* Q2 rev rises 16 pct to $5.9 bln

July 24 (Reuters) - Aflac Inc raised its full-year sales outlook for its Japan segment for the second successive quarter, but cut its total full-year operating profit forecast.

Aflac, which depends on the U.S. and Japan for the bulk of its business, now expects operating earnings of between $6.45 and $6.52 per share, at an average exchange rate of 80 yen to a U.S. dollar for the year.

It had previously forecast operating profit of between $6.46 and $6.65 per share. Analysts were expecting $6.56 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“We believe it is reasonable to expect an annual sales increase (of Aflac Japan) for 2012 of 22 percent to 25 percent,” Chief Executive Daniel Amos said in a statement.

The company, which is Japan’s No. 1 foreign insurer, said in April that it expects full-year sales to increase 10 percent for Aflac Japan.

For the current quarter, the company is expecting operating earnings of $1.64 to $1.69 per share, above analysts’ estimates of $1.63 per share.

Net income for the second quarter rose to $483 million, or $1.03 per share, from $274 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier.

Operating profit -- a key measure of profitability for insurance companies as it excludes certain investment losses and gains -- was in line with estimates at $1.61 per share.

Total revenue rose 16 percent to $5.9 billion in the quarter.

Shares of Columbus, Georgia-based Aflac, which competes with Unum Group, were down marginally in trading after the bell. They closed at $42.02 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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