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Research Alert: CFRA Keeps Buy Opinion On Shares Of Lincoln National Corporation

· 02/04/2021 20:09

01:05 AM EST, 02/05/2021 (MT Newswires) -- CFRA, an independent research provider, has provided MT Newswires with the following research alert. Analysts at CFRA have summarized their opinion as follows:

We keep our 12-month target price of $57, or 6.3x our 2021 operating EPS estimate of $9.10 (cut by $0.20 today) and 5.3x our 2022 operating EPS estimate of $10.70, versus the shares' three-year average forward multiple of 6.1x and a peer average of 8x, appropriate given LNC's above-peer market and interest rate exposure. Q4 operating EPS of $1.78 versus $2.41 lagged our $1.96 EPS estimate, the $1.91 consensus forecast as 3.1% higher operating revenues were offset by a pandemic-driven 11.2% rise in benefit costs. Full-year 2020 operating EPS of $4.45 versus $6.71 matched our $4.45 EPS estimate, the $4.46 consensus forecast on 1% higher revenues (versus our forecast of 1%-3% growth) and a pandemic-driven 10.1% uptick in benefit costs. We see an easing of these claims in 2021, coupled with an acceleration in operating revenue growth (to 6%-9%) amid an economic and labor market recovery, providing the shares (which currently yield 3.4%) with a catalyst.