Lincoln National (LNC) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $73.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln National Corporation’s first-quarter 2019 earnings of $2.14 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.9%. The bottom line improved about 8.6% year over year, mainly led by increase in revenues and share buyback. The company is poised to grow on the back of its increasing top line led by strong performance of the Life Insurance Segment, new product introduction, enhancement of existing products and change in business mix. It has also streamlined its business by axing unprofitable and non-core lines. Its operational efficiency and disciplined capital management are noteworthy. The stock has outperformed its industry year to date. Also, its increased expense driven by investment in technology will dent margins for the next several quarters. High leverage is another cause of concern.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on LNC. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Lincoln National from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 27th. UBS Group increased their target price on shares of Lincoln National from $62.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $92.00 target price on shares of Lincoln National and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $75.92.

LNC stock traded down $2.28 during trading on Friday, reaching $63.07. The stock had a trading volume of 28,915 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,245,110. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.19. The company has a market capitalization of $13.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.48, a PEG ratio of 0.78 and a beta of 1.95. Lincoln National has a one year low of $48.07 and a one year high of $71.27.

Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The financial services provider reported $2.14 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.08 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $4.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.25 billion. Lincoln National had a net margin of 9.02% and a return on equity of 12.32%. Lincoln National’s revenue was up 19.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.97 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Lincoln National will post 9.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were issued a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.35%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 9th. Lincoln National’s payout ratio is 17.45%.

In other news, Director Gary C. Kelly sold 17,040 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.63, for a total value of $1,135,375.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Dennis R. Glass sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.49, for a total transaction of $604,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 34,303 shares of company stock worth $2,188,402 in the last three months. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of LNC. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in Lincoln National by 59.7% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 11,919,511 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $806,475,000 after buying an additional 4,457,743 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB grew its stake in shares of Lincoln National by 8.5% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 268,753 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $18,182,000 after acquiring an additional 21,060 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in shares of Lincoln National by 2.3% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,051,772 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $71,151,000 after acquiring an additional 23,662 shares during the period. Arlington Partners LLC bought a new stake in Lincoln National during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $47,000. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama grew its position in Lincoln National by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 320,124 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $16,426,000 after buying an additional 13,400 shares during the period. 84.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Lincoln National Company Profile

Lincoln National Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates multiple insurance and retirement businesses in the United States. It operates through four segments: Annuities, Retirement Plan Services, Life Insurance, and Group Protection. The Annuities segment offers variable, fixed, and indexed variable annuities.

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