Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday. The firm currently has $81.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the last one year, Lincoln National’s shares have outperformed the industry.  The company is well positioned for long-term growth on the back of changes made in product and business mix. In order to shield itself from long-term claims variability, the company has been emphasizing on sale of Life products without long-term guarantees. It has also streamlined its business by axing unprofitable and non-core lines. The company’s Group Protection segment which was challenged earlier, has been recovering. The stock has witnessed an upward revision in the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 over the past 60 days. However, increased expense driven by investment in technology will dent margins over the next many quarters. Declining cash flows are another cause of concern.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on shares of Lincoln National Corporation from $84.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a hold rating on shares of Lincoln National Corporation in a report on Thursday, June 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lincoln National Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, June 10th. Bank of America Corporation set a $78.00 target price on shares of Lincoln National Corporation in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a buy rating and set a $83.00 target price (up previously from $82.00) on shares of Lincoln National Corporation in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $74.50.

Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) opened at 72.88 on Thursday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $69.75 and a 200 day moving average price of $67.84. The stock has a market capitalization of $16.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.10 and a beta of 1.98. Lincoln National Corporation has a 12 month low of $44.74 and a 12 month high of $75.78.

Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The financial services provider reported $1.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.73 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $3.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.56 billion. Lincoln National Corporation had a net margin of 10.85% and a return on equity of 10.99%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.56 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Lincoln National Corporation will post $7.47 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be issued a $0.29 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.59%. Lincoln National Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 17.79%.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of LNC. Trust Co. of Vermont acquired a new stake in shares of Lincoln National Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at about $101,000. Sun Life Financial INC raised its stake in shares of Lincoln National Corporation by 20,600.0% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,656 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after purchasing an additional 1,648 shares in the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its stake in shares of Lincoln National Corporation by 8.6% in the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,726 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 136 shares in the last quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Lincoln National Corporation by 15.9% in the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 2,073 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $135,000 after purchasing an additional 285 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Balentine LLC raised its stake in shares of Lincoln National Corporation by 120.4% in the 1st quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,965 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $194,000 after purchasing an additional 1,620 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.85% of the company’s stock.

Lincoln National Corporation 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. The Company 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 on the creation and protection of wealth through life insurance products, and Group Protection, which offers principally group non-medical insurance products.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC)

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