Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on Lincoln National (LNC)

Lincoln National Co. (NYSE:LNC) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors acquired 3,500 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 1,334% compared to the average volume of 244 call options.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Krilogy Financial LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Lincoln National by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,460 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $234,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. lifted its holdings in shares of Lincoln National by 8.6% during the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,726 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 136 shares during the last quarter. Altavista Wealth Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Lincoln National by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Altavista Wealth Management Inc. now owns 66,979 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,526,000 after buying an additional 188 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its holdings in shares of Lincoln National by 2.8% during the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 8,514 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $575,000 after buying an additional 230 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dorsey Wright & Associates lifted its holdings in shares of Lincoln National by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Dorsey Wright & Associates now owns 29,721 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,009,000 after buying an additional 347 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.54% of the company’s stock.

Lincoln National (NYSE LNC) traded down $2.87 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $83.04. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,686,756 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,474,294. The company has a current ratio of 0.11, a quick ratio of 0.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. Lincoln National has a 52 week low of $61.45 and a 52 week high of $86.68. The stock has a market cap of $18,430.00, a PE ratio of 8.99, a PEG ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.96.

Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.94 by $0.04. Lincoln National had a return on equity of 11.13% and a net margin of 14.48%. The company had revenue of $3.78 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.65 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.77 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Lincoln National will post 8.54 EPS for the current year.

Lincoln National announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Friday, January 19th that permits the company to buyback shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on LNC shares. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price on shares of Lincoln National in a report on Friday, December 8th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 target price on shares of Lincoln National in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Lincoln National from $76.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $89.00 target price on shares of Lincoln National in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Lincoln National from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $83.27.

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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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