On Sep 24, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Lincoln National Corporation
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Lincoln National has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on
the back of strong second-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this
insurance and investment manager delivered positive earnings
surprises in 3 out of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of
5.9%. Shares gained nearly 0.5% since the company reported solid
second quarter results.
Lincoln National's second quarter operating earnings per share
came in at $1.27, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
$1.15 and year ago earnings by 16.5%. The outperformance was
driven by improved sales of insurance policies, variable
annuities as well as non-medical net earned premiums.
Additionally, Lincoln Financial has undertaken a number of
initiatives over the last couple of months that are expected to
be potent to its growth in the upcoming period. The introduction
of an e-ticket system and e-delivery for its hybrid life
insurance policies on Aug 6, 2013 not only marks the expansion of
Lincoln National's electronic business, but also strengthens its
life insurance portfolio. The e-business of Lincoln National also
has been fortified by the launch of iPipeline iGO e-App that
allows professionals to complete and submit insurance
applications electronically. On Aug 13, 2013, it launched a
variable universal life insurance product named Lincoln SVUL that
we believe will enhance its competitive position in the life
Moreover, the strengthening of the company's Ibbotson Insight
Series through the launch of a number of new lineups and the
introduction of the company's first ever deferred income annuity
(DIA) named Lincoln Deferred Income Solutions in Sep 2013 is
expected to bolster top line growth. Its clientele base is also
expected to increase on account of its deal with the blood
center, OneBlood on Aug 8, 2013, whereby it will provide employer
sponsored retirement plans to OneBlood employees.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 5.1% to $4.73 per
share as 15 of 17 estimates were revised higher over the last 60
days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 also increased
approximately 5.1% to $5.20 as 13 of 17 estimates moved north
over the last 60 days.
Other Stocks to Consider
Among other insurers,
China Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
StanCorp Financial Group Inc.
) carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
CHINA LIFE INS (LFC): Free Stock Analysis
LINCOLN NATL-IN (LNC): Free Stock Analysis
STANCORP FNL CP (SFG): Free Stock Analysis
TORCHMARK CORP (TMK): Free Stock Analysis
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