What Is The Ownership Structure Like For Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC)?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 24, 2020
NYSE:LNC

Every investor in Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.

Lincoln National is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$7.2b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Lincoln National.

See our latest analysis for Lincoln National

ownership-breakdown
NYSE:LNC Ownership Breakdown October 24th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Lincoln National?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Lincoln National. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Lincoln National's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NYSE:LNC Earnings and Revenue Growth October 24th 2020

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Lincoln National. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 12% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 7.5% and 5.2%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 15 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Lincoln National

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in Lincoln National Corporation. It is a pretty big company, so it is generally a positive to see some potentially meaningful alignment. In this case, they own around US$421m worth of shares (at current prices). If you would like to explore the question of insider alignment, you can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 14% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Lincoln National better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Lincoln National .

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
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