MetLife (NYSE: MET) and Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends and risk.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares MetLife and Lincoln National Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MetLife $63.48 billion 0.87 $800.00 million ($0.50) -104.40
Lincoln National Corporation $13.33 billion 1.21 $1.19 billion $6.39 11.50

Lincoln National Corporation has higher revenue, but lower earnings than MetLife. MetLife is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Lincoln National Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

MetLife pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Lincoln National Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. MetLife pays out -320.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Lincoln National Corporation pays out 18.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. MetLife has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years and Lincoln National Corporation has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. MetLife is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares MetLife and Lincoln National Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MetLife -0.75% 8.81% 0.67%
Lincoln National Corporation 10.50% 11.16% 0.64%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

73.8% of MetLife shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.3% of Lincoln National Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.3% of MetLife shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.4% of Lincoln National Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for MetLife and Lincoln National Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MetLife 1 8 7 1 2.47
Lincoln National Corporation 1 5 4 0 2.30

MetLife presently has a consensus price target of $59.22, suggesting a potential upside of 13.44%. Lincoln National Corporation has a consensus price target of $76.22, suggesting a potential upside of 3.72%. Given MetLife’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe MetLife is more favorable than Lincoln National Corporation.

Volatility & Risk

MetLife has a beta of 1.51, meaning that its share price is 51% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lincoln National Corporation has a beta of 2.03, meaning that its share price is 103% more volatile than the S&P 500.

MetLife Company Profile

MetLife, Inc. is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); MetLife Holdings, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses. Its Asia segment offers products, including life insurance; accident and health insurance, and retirement and savings products. Latin America offers products, including life insurance, and retirement and savings products. Life insurance includes universal, variable and term life products. EMEA offers products, including life insurance, accident and health insurance, retirement and savings products, and credit insurance.

Lincoln National Corporation Company Profile

Lincoln National Corporation is a holding company, which operates insurance and retirement businesses through subsidiary companies. The Company sells a range of wealth protection, accumulation and retirement income products and solutions, through its business segments. The Company operates through four segments: Annuities segment, which offers fixed (including indexed) and variable annuities; Retirement Plan Services segment, which provides employers with retirement plan products and services; Life Insurance segment, which focuses on the creation and protection of wealth through life insurance products, and Group Protection, which offers principally group non-medical insurance products. These products include fixed and indexed annuities, variable annuities, universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance, linked-benefit UL, term life insurance, indexed universal life insurance, employer-sponsored retirement plans and services, and group life, disability and dental.

Receive News & Ratings for MetLife Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for MetLife Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.