Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln National is well positioned for long-term growth, given its focus on reducing exposure to business with long-term guarantee. The company also remains immune to the  rule proposed by the DOL. Its strong capital position is another positive. Moreover, the company has a solid balance sheet owing to prudent capital deployment and improvement in book value. However, the company’s growth has been restricted by economic volatility, softness in Group Protection segment, intense competition and a low interest rate environment that has weakened net flows, annuities and investment yields. During the most recent third quarter results the company reported earnings of $1.83 per share surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13% and also grew 10.2% year over year. “

Several other research firms have also recently commented on LNC. FBR & Co cut shares of Lincoln National Corp. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on shares of Lincoln National Corp. in a research report on Friday, October 7th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $57.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Lincoln National Corp. in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $50.92.

Analyst Recommendations for Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC)

Shares of Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC) traded up 0.78% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $61.96. The company had a trading volume of 1,445,952 shares. Lincoln National Corp. has a 12-month low of $30.39 and a 12-month high of $62.86. The company has a market capitalization of $14.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.71 and a beta of 1.99. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $50.81 and its 200 day moving average price is $45.75.

Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $1.89 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.61 by $0.28. Lincoln National Corp. had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 9.89%. The firm had revenue of $3.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.43 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.65 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Lincoln National Corp. will post $6.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be given a dividend of $0.29 per share. This is a positive change from Lincoln National Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.89%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 6th. Lincoln National Corp.’s payout ratio is 18.83%.

In other news, EVP Lisa Buckingham sold 33,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.03, for a total transaction of $2,013,990.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,405 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,442,397.15. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director M Leanne Lachman sold 8,832 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.53, for a total transaction of $543,432.96. Following the transaction, the director now owns 2,960 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $182,128.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. National Pension Service increased its stake in Lincoln National Corp. by 4.8% in the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 168,734 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,614,000 after buying an additional 7,706 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Lincoln National Corp. by 10.5% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 157,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,191,000 after buying an additional 15,033 shares in the last quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC increased its stake in Lincoln National Corp. by 45.2% in the first quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC now owns 44,017 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,725,000 after buying an additional 13,700 shares in the last quarter. Babson Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Lincoln National Corp. by 20.1% in the first quarter. Babson Capital Management LLC now owns 27,507 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,078,000 after buying an additional 4,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in Lincoln National Corp. by 18.7% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 974,322 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,194,000 after buying an additional 153,317 shares in the last quarter. 78.31% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Lincoln National Corp. Company Profile

Lincoln National Corporation is a holding company, which operates insurance and retirement businesses through subsidiary companies. The Company sells a range of wealth protection, accumulation and retirement income products and solutions, through its business segments. It operates through four segments: Annuities segment, which offers fixed (including indexed) and variable annuities; Retirement Plan Services segment, which provides employers with retirement plan products and services; Life Insurance segment, which focuses in the creation and protection of wealth through life insurance products, and Group Protection, which offers principally group non-medical insurance products.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:LNC

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