Can Low Investment Income Spoil Lincoln (LNC) Q1 Earnings?

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Lincoln National Corporation LNC is set to report first-quarter 2022 results on May 4, after the closing bell.

In the last reported quarter, this leading diversified life insurance and investment management company’s adjusted earnings per share of $1.56 missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.98, primarily on increased costs and expenses, and lower returns from its alternative investment portfolio in the Life Insurance business.

Let’s see how things have shaped up prior to the first-quarter earnings announcement.

Trend in Estimate Revision

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter earnings per share of $1.97 has witnessed zero estimate revisions in the past week. The estimated figure suggests an increase of 8.2% from the prior-year quarter’s reported number. The consensus estimate for first-quarter revenues of $4.8 billion indicates a 0.1% increase from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

Lincoln National’s earnings beat estimates in two of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark twice, the average negative surprise being 0.7%. This is depicted in the graph below.

Lincoln National Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Lincoln National Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Lincoln National Corporation price-eps-surprise | Lincoln National Corporation Quote

Factors to Note

In the first quarter, Lincoln National is expected to have witnessed rising profits on the back of its Spark Initiative. LNC is well-poised for growth owing to product strategy, distribution strength and a diversified portfolio. The combination of underlying growth and improving mortality results position the insurer well for both its Life Insurance and Group businesses.

In Lincoln National’s Annuity business, variable annuity sales without guaranteed living benefits are likely to have grown in the to-be-reported quarter. The consensus mark for revenues from Annuities indicates an upside of 5.9% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

The insurer’s Retirement business is also poised to benefit from the tailwinds of an improved economy, increased account values led by a robust equity market performance, strong returns from the alternative investment portfolio and consistent expense efficiency. The consensus mark for revenues from Retirement Plan Services and Group Protection businesses suggests an upside of 1.8% and 0.6% each from the respective year-ago quarter’s actuals.

However, the consensus mark for revenues from Life insurance indicates a 0.8% decrease from the year-ago quarter’s level. Also, the consensus mark for fee income indicates a 0.9% dip from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.

LNC made consistent efforts to protect its investment returns in the face of a low interest rate environment. Yet, the consensus mark indicates a 3.5% slip in net investment income in the first quarter from the prior-year period’s reading, thus making an earnings beat uncertain.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Lincoln National this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of an earnings beat. That is not the case here, as you will see below.

Earnings ESP: Lincoln National’s Earnings ESP is 0.00%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate is currently pegged at $1.97 per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Lincoln National currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Stocks to Consider

While an earnings beat looks uncertain for Lincoln National, here are some companies worth considering in the Finance space, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this time around:

BRP Group, Inc. BRP currently has an Earnings ESP of +3.63% and a Zacks Rank #3.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BRP Group’s bottom line for the to-be-reported quarter indicates a 15.9% rise from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

BRP’s earnings beat estimates in three of the last four quarters and met the mark once, the average surprise being 24.1%.

Bridge Investment Group Holdings Inc. BRDG has an Earnings ESP of +3.03% and is a Zacks #3 Ranked player at present.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Bridge Investment’s earnings per share of 17 cents for the to-be-reported quarter has witnessed no movement in the past week.

BRDG’s earnings beat estimates twice in the last three quarters and missed the mark once, the average surprise being 35.1%.

Cigna Corporation CI has an Earnings ESP of +6.26% and a Zacks Rank of 2 at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Cigna’s bottom line for the to-be-reported quarter indicates an 8.5% increase from the corresponding year-ago quarter’s actuals.

CI’s earnings beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 6%.

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Lincoln National Corporation (LNC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Cigna Corporation (CI) : Free Stock Analysis Report

BRP Group, Inc. (BRP) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Bridge Investment Group Holdings Inc. (BRDG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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