Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $89.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln National’s shares have outperformed the industry in six month’s time.  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.”

LNC has been the subject of several other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co set a $80.00 target price on shares of Lincoln National and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, November 16th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Lincoln National from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Lincoln National from $76.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of Lincoln National in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a sell rating and a $71.00 target price for the company. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $83.00 target price on shares of Lincoln National in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Lincoln National has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $83.27.

Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) traded up $0.47 during trading on Monday, hitting $84.37. 1,390,179 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,309,178. The company has a market cap of $18,360.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.16, a PEG ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 2.01. The company has a quick ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 0.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. Lincoln National has a 12-month low of $61.45 and a 12-month high of $84.75.

Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The financial services provider reported $2.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.84 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.62 billion. Lincoln National had a net margin of 10.50% and a return on equity of 11.16%. The business’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.89 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Lincoln National will post 7.72 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.33 per share. This is a positive change from Lincoln National’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.56%. Lincoln National’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.59%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV bought a new stake in Lincoln National during the 4th quarter valued at about $108,000. North Star Investment Management Corp. lifted its holdings in Lincoln National by 45.2% during the 4th quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 5,615 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $432,000 after buying an additional 1,749 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Lincoln National by 7.3% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,031,558 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $75,798,000 after buying an additional 70,480 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its holdings in Lincoln National by 2.9% during the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,127,315 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $82,835,000 after buying an additional 32,235 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hellman Jordan Management Co. Inc. MA lifted its holdings in Lincoln National by 26.8% during the 3rd quarter. Hellman Jordan Management Co. Inc. MA now owns 13,812 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,015,000 after buying an additional 2,921 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 80.32% of the company’s stock.

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About Lincoln National

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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