Lincoln National (NYSE: LNC) and MetLife (NYSE:MET) are both large-cap financials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends and profitability.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Lincoln National and MetLife’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lincoln National $13.33 billion 1.25 $1.19 billion $6.41 11.84
MetLife $63.48 billion 0.88 $800.00 million $0.46 115.30

Lincoln National has higher earnings, but lower revenue than MetLife. Lincoln National is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than MetLife, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

80.4% of Lincoln National shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.4% of MetLife shares are held by institutional investors. 1.1% of Lincoln National shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of MetLife shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Lincoln National has a beta of 2.01, indicating that its share price is 101% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MetLife has a beta of 1.49, indicating that its share price is 49% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Lincoln National and MetLife’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lincoln National 10.50% 11.16% 0.64%
MetLife -0.75% 8.81% 0.67%

Dividends

Lincoln National pays an annual dividend of $1.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. MetLife pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Lincoln National pays out 18.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. MetLife pays out 347.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Lincoln National has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years and MetLife has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Lincoln National and MetLife, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lincoln National 1 5 4 0 2.30
MetLife 1 8 7 1 2.47

Lincoln National currently has a consensus target price of $78.11, indicating a potential upside of 2.90%. MetLife has a consensus target price of $59.22, indicating a potential upside of 11.65%. Given MetLife’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe MetLife is more favorable than Lincoln National.

Summary

Lincoln National beats MetLife on 10 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lincoln National 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. These products include fixed and indexed annuities, variable annuities, universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance, linked-benefit UL, term life insurance, indexed universal life insurance, employer-sponsored retirement plans and services, and group life, disability and dental.

MetLife Company Profile

MetLife, Inc. is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); MetLife Holdings, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses. Its Asia segment offers products, including life insurance; accident and health insurance, and retirement and savings products. Latin America offers products, including life insurance, and retirement and savings products. Life insurance includes universal, variable and term life products. EMEA offers products, including life insurance, accident and health insurance, retirement and savings products, and credit insurance.

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