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Lehman Cuts AFLAC Rating

Lehman Brothers downgraded AFLAC AFL

to buy from strong buy.

Analyst Eric Berg says his recent trip to Japan left him with several unanswered questions regarding what sort of efforts AFLAC's competitors are making. He came away from the trip thinking competitors are intent on at least trying to displace AFLAC. Because he returned home confident about AFLCAC's ability to beat back competitors but is still unsure about how hard and long its competitors might fight, Berg is thinking now is the time for investors to be less aggressive purchasers of AFLAC's shares. He could restore the rating quickly if it becomes clearer that AFLAC's competitors are, in fact, not succeeding.

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