Lincoln National (LNC) Q1 Earnings Beat, Revenues Up Y/Y
Lincoln National Corporation LNC reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.82 per share, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 23%. However, the bottom line declined 18.8% year over year.
The company’s results indicate growing operating revenues and strong expense management across its businesses, partly offset by the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adjusted operating revenues improved 5.6% year over year to $4.8 billion in the quarter, courtesy of revenue growth in the company’s four business segments. – Annuities, Retirement Plan Services, Life Insurance and Group Protection. However, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.7%.
In the quarter, total expenses of $4.3 billion dipped 2.7% year over year attributable to reduced interest credited, commissions and other expenses, and strategic digitization expense.
Lincoln National Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Operating income in the Annuities segment amounted to $290 million, which rose 11% year over year driven by increased account values and favorable returns stemming from the company’s alternative investment portfolio. Operating revenues of $1.2 billion improved 6.6% year over year. Total annuity sales dropped 24% year over year to $2.8 billion in the quarter primarily due to 91.9% decline in fixed annuity sales arising from product actions undertaken as a result of lower interest rates. Nevertheless, a 3% rise in variable annuity sales provided a boost to the segment’s results.
Retirement Plan Services segment’s operating income of $57 million surged 43% year over year in the quarter, courtesy of rise in account values and strong expense management. Operating revenues of $327 million advanced 10.1% year over year. Total deposits slid 5% year over year to $2.6 billion primarily due to drop in first-year sales, partly offset by increasing recurring deposits.
Life Insurance segment’s operating income totaled $107 million, which slumped 37.4% year over year due to pandemic-linked mortality. Operating revenues of $1.9 billion grew 6.5% year over year. Total life insurance sales fell 32.5% year over year to $114 million on account of 39.9% drop in individual life insurance sales. Nevertheless, a 7.7% rise in executive benefits sales partly benefited total sales.
The company’s Group Protection segment reported an operating loss of $26 million against the prior-year quarter’s operating income of $40 million. The downside was primarily due to the pandemic-related mortality and morbidity experience. Operating revenues improved 2.5% year over year to $1.3 billion. However, total sales in the segment declined 27.5% year over year to $74 million.
Financial Update (as of Mar 31, 2021)
The company exited the first quarter with cash and invested cash of $1.4 billion, which reduced to nearly five-fold year over year. Long-term debt amounted to $6.3 billion, down 6% over year.
During the first quarter, total assets improved 15.1% year over year to $366.8 billion. Shareholders’ equity climbed 18.2% year over year to $19.6 billion.
As of Mar 31, 2021, the company’s book value per share excluding accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) grew 3% year over year to $72.36. Adjusted operating return on equity (ROE) excluding AOCI came in at 10.2%, down 330 basis points year over year.
Share Repurchase Update
In the reported quarter, the company bought back shares worth $105 million.
Lincoln National currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performance of Other Insurers
Of the insurance industry players that have reported first-quarter results so far, the bottom line of Manulife Financial Corporation MFC, Old Republic International Corporation ORI and Assurant, Inc. AIZ beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
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