Stock Analysis

Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) Will Pay A Dividend Of $0.45

NYSE:LNC
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The board of Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) has announced that it will pay a dividend on the 1st of February, with investors receiving $0.45 per share. This means the annual payment is 8.2% of the current stock price, which is above the average for the industry.

View our latest analysis for Lincoln National

Lincoln National's Earnings Easily Cover The Distributions

While it is great to have a strong dividend yield, we should also consider whether the payment is sustainable. Lincoln National is not generating a profit, but its free cash flows easily cover the dividend, leaving plenty for reinvestment in the business. We generally think that cash flow is more important than accounting measures of profit, so we are fairly comfortable with the dividend at this level.

According to analysts, EPS should be several times higher next year. Assuming the dividend continues along recent trends, we think the payout ratio will be 3.5%, which makes us pretty comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.

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NYSE:LNC Historic Dividend November 13th 2023

Lincoln National Has A Solid Track Record

The company has been paying a dividend for a long time, and it has been quite stable which gives us confidence in the future dividend potential. The annual payment during the last 10 years was $0.48 in 2013, and the most recent fiscal year payment was $1.80. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 14% per annum over that time. We can see that payments have shown some very nice upward momentum without faltering, which provides some reassurance that future payments will also be reliable.

The Dividend Has Limited Growth Potential

The company's investors will be pleased to have been receiving dividend income for some time. Let's not jump to conclusions as things might not be as good as they appear on the surface. Earnings per share has been sinking by 43% over the last five years. Such rapid declines definitely have the potential to constrain dividend payments if the trend continues into the future. Over the next year, however, earnings are actually predicted to rise, but we would still be cautious until a track record of earnings growth can be built.

Our Thoughts On Lincoln National's Dividend

Overall, it's nice to see a consistent dividend payment, but we think that longer term, the current level of payment might be unsustainable. The company has been bring in plenty of cash to cover the dividend, but we don't necessarily think that makes it a great dividend stock. We don't think Lincoln National is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. For example, we've identified 2 warning signs for Lincoln National (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.