Stock Analysis

Lincoln National's (NYSE:LNC) Dividend Will Be $0.45

NYSE:LNC
Source: Shutterstock

The board of Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) has announced that it will pay a dividend of $0.45 per share on the 1st of February. The dividend yield will be 5.2% based on this payment which is still above the industry average.

Our analysis indicates that LNC is potentially undervalued!

Lincoln National's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings

We like to see robust dividend yields, but that doesn't matter if the payment isn't sustainable. Lincoln National is not generating a profit, but its free cash flows easily cover the dividend, leaving plenty for reinvestment in the business. In general, cash flows are more important than the more traditional measures of profit so we feel pretty comfortable with the dividend at this level.

Analysts expect a massive rise in earnings per share in the next year. If the dividend extends its recent trend, estimates say the dividend could reach 5.8%, which we would be comfortable to see continuing.

historic-dividend
NYSE:LNC Historic Dividend November 6th 2022

Lincoln National Has A Solid Track Record

The company has an extended history of paying stable dividends. Since 2012, the annual payment back then was $0.32, compared to the most recent full-year payment of $1.80. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 19% 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.

Dividend Growth Potential Is Shaky

Investors who have held shares in the company for the past few years will be happy with the dividend income they have received. Unfortunately things aren't as good as they seem. Lincoln National's earnings per share has shrunk at 24% a year over the past five years. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective. Even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough. On the bright side, earnings are predicted to gain some ground over the next year, but until this turns into a pattern we wouldn't be feeling too comfortable.

In Summary

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.

It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. For example, we've picked out 3 warning signs for Lincoln National that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our collection of strong dividend payers.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Lincoln National is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.