Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The firm currently has a $70.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 12.47% from the stock’s previous close.

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. 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. 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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on LNC. Wells Fargo & Co. started coverage on shares of Lincoln National Corp. in a report on Friday, September 23rd. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on shares of Lincoln National Corp. in a report on Friday, October 7th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $57.00 price target for the company. Finally, FBR & Co boosted their price target on shares of Lincoln National Corp. from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 18th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Lincoln National Corp. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.83.

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

Shares of Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC) traded up 1.727% on Monday, reaching $63.315. 800,185 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.962 and a beta of 1.99. Lincoln National Corp. has a 52 week low of $30.39 and a 52 week high of $63.32. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $51.72 and its 200 day moving average price is $46.00.

Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 company earned $3.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.43 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.65 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Lincoln National Corp. will post $6.35 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be given a $0.29 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, January 6th. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.86%. This is an increase from Lincoln National Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. Lincoln National Corp.’s payout ratio is presently 18.83%.

In other Lincoln National Corp. news, insider Wilford H. Fuller sold 63,694 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.13, for a total transaction of $3,766,226.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CAO Christine A. Janofsky sold 1,025 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.11, for a total transaction of $61,612.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Barnett & Company Inc. bought a new stake in Lincoln National Corp. during the first quarter valued at $104,000. Capital Analysts LLC increased its stake in Lincoln National Corp. by 54.4% in the second quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 1,685 shares of the company’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 594 shares in the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its stake in Lincoln National Corp. by 98.6% in the third quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 2,324 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 1,154 shares in the last quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. bought a new stake in Lincoln National Corp. during the second quarter valued at $127,000. Finally, Societe Generale bought a new stake in Lincoln National Corp. during the second quarter valued at $132,000. 77.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Lincoln National Corp.

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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