Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln National is poised to grow on the back of its increasing top line led by strong performance of the Life Insurance Segment. The company’s Group Protection segment, which was challenged earlier, has been recovering. The acquisition of Liberty's group benefits business will further aid Group Benefits segment. Lincoln National has also streamlined its business by axing unprofitable and non-core lines. Its operational efficiency and disciplined capital management are noteworthy. However, increased expense driven by investment in technology will dent margins for the next several quarters. High leverage is another cause for concern. Shares of the company have lost in a year’s time, wider than its industry’s decline in the same time frame.”

LNC has been the topic of several other research reports. Deutsche Bank cut their price target on Lincoln National from $74.00 to $73.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 5th. Bank of America cut their price target on Lincoln National from $79.00 to $75.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Lincoln National from $76.00 to $74.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 13th. UBS Group upped their price target on Lincoln National from $73.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised Lincoln National from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the company from $69.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Monday, September 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $76.15.

Lincoln National stock opened at $53.53 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.19, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.87 and a beta of 1.87. Lincoln National has a 52 week low of $53.26 and a 52 week high of $86.68.

Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $2.34 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.17 by $0.17. The company had revenue of $4.26 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.25 billion. Lincoln National had a return on equity of 11.61% and a net margin of 13.14%. The business’s revenue was up 21.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.87 earnings per share. Research analysts anticipate that Lincoln National will post 8.56 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP Jamie Ohl sold 2,152 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $124,816.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 12,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $738,456. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.12% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LNC. Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC bought a new stake in Lincoln National in the second quarter valued at about $128,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC bought a new stake in Lincoln National in the third quarter valued at about $135,000. Twin Tree Management LP bought a new stake in Lincoln National in the third quarter valued at about $151,000. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. increased its holdings in Lincoln National by 82.5% in the third quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 2,318 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $157,000 after purchasing an additional 1,048 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. bought a new stake in Lincoln National in the third quarter valued at about $167,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.85% of the company’s stock.

About Lincoln National

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 company sells a range of wealth protection, accumulation, and retirement income products and solutions.

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