Lincoln Financial Group Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2007 Results
Amid volatile capital markets, a record year of variable annuity and life insurance sales drove consolidated retail domestic deposits to $33.2 billion, up 14%, and net flows to $7.5 billion, up 16%
Record fourth quarter variable annuity sales of $3.4 billion, up 31% over the prior year
| Individual Markets
| Employer Markets
| Investment Management
| Lincoln UK
| Other Operations
| Capital and Share Repurchase
| Realized Gains and Losses/Impairment Charge
| 2008 Outlook
| Reconciliation Table
| Digest of Earnings
| General Account Supplement
PHILADELPHIA, February 4, 2008 Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) today reported net income of $113 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2007, versus $381 million, or $1.36 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. Net income for the fourth quarter included net realized losses on investments of $71 million, after tax, or $0.26 per diluted share, and a loss of $136 million after tax, or $0.50 per diluted share, relating to the sale of certain media assets. For the full year of 2007, net income was $1.21 billion, or a $4.43 per diluted share, versus $1.32 billion, or $5.13 per diluted share, in 2006.
Income from operations for the fourth quarter of 2007 was $312 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, compared to fourth quarter 2006 income from operations of $366 million, or $1.31 per diluted share. As a result of pending sale agreements for certain media properties in the fourth quarter of 2007, income from operations excludes the results of those businesses, which are now included in discontinued operations for all periods presented. In the fourth quarter of 2007, income from operations from those businesses was $9 million, after tax, or $0.03 per diluted share. Results in the current quarter also included merger-related expenses of $28 million, pre tax.
For the full year of 2007, income from operations was $1.41 billion, or $5.15 per diluted share, compared to $1.30 billion, or $5.06 per diluted share, in 2006. Return on equity (ROE), based on income from operations, was 12.2% for the year. Net income and income from operations in 2006 exclude first quarter results from Jefferson-Pilot businesses.
The table attached to this release defines and reconciles income from operations, ROE, and book value per share excluding accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI), non-GAAP measures, to net income, ROE, and book value per share including AOCI calculated in accordance with GAAP.
Notable Items Affecting 4Q 2007 Income from Operations
|($ in millions except per share data)
|Individual Annuities (Hedge Performance, DAC Unlocking, FAS 133)
|Other Operations (Non-qualified Benefit Plan Changes, Expense Items)
|Life Insurance (Mortality)
|Group Protection (Loss Ratios)
|Investment Management (Reduction in Incentive Compensation Accruals)
Notable Items Referenced in the 4Q 2006 Press Release Affecting Income from Operations
| ($ in millions except per share data)
|Individual Annuities (VA Reserves, Tax-related Adjustment)
|| $ 11
|| $ 0.04
|Individual Life (Fee and Investment Income, Mortality)
|Group Protection (Loss Ratios, Expense Items)
|Defined Contribution (Investment Income, Expense Items)
|Other Operations (Expense Items)
Dennis R. Glass, president and CEO, said, "Lincoln Financial had a strong year despite facing headwinds in the capital markets that further intensified in the fourth quarter. Strategic investments to expand our best-in-class distribution capabilities, combined with a robust product offering, drove excellent year-over-year sales growth of 20% or more in individual life, individual annuities, defined contribution, group protection and retail mutual funds. We also achieved our integration savings targets, continued to refine our operating focus and returned over $1.4 billion to our shareholders through dividends and stock buybacks."
Glass added, "The volatile capital markets contributed to both credit and hedge program losses in the fourth quarter; nevertheless, our underlying fundamentals remain strong. We ended the year with a solid general account investment portfolio, a strong capital base and significant flexibility to make additional strategic investments to further enhance our distribution platform and product capabilities in 2008 and beyond."
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Fourth Quarter 2007 Segment Results
Income from operations for the Individual Annuities segment was $90 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 versus $124 million in the year-ago period. The current quarter included a net negative impact of approximately $36 million, after tax, primarily related to the hedge program, DAC unlocking, and the impact of FAS 133 fair value accounting on liabilities related to indexed annuity products.
In the quarter, gross deposits were $3.9 billion, up 23% over the year-ago period. Net flows for the segment doubled versus the 2006 quarter to $1.8 billion, reflecting strength in deposits and a sharp reduction in fixed annuity outflows. Record variable annuity product sales were supported by all channels, as the Wirehouse, Independent Planner and Bank channels each grew variable annuity product sales in excess of 25% compared to the 2006 quarter.
For the year, total annuity deposits were $13.5 billion, driven by record variable annuity product deposits of $11.9 billion. Strong variable annuity product net flows in 2007 of $6.2 billion boosted variable annuity product account values by 20% and increased total expense assessment revenue by 36%.
Individual Life Insurance
Individual Life Insurance income from operations was $159 million, compared to $157 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. The current quarter's results included a net negative impact of approximately $4 million, after tax, primarily related to unfavorable mortality experience, which was partially offset by positive DAC unlocking.
Individual life insurance sales, reported as paid annualized premium, were $182 million in the fourth quarter, down 17% compared to 2006. Normal seasonality in the fourth quarter was offset by the continued transition to new products and processes associated with the launch of the unified product portfolio. MoneyGuard®, a universal life insurance policy with a long-term care rider, continued to benefit from wholesaler expansion as sales were more than 50% higher than the prior-year period.
Full-year life insurance sales were up 20% over the combined Lincoln Financial and Jefferson Pilot sales in 2006, with double digit growth in both the MGA and Independent Planner channels.
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Fourth quarter income from operations for Defined Contribution was $43 million, versus $45 million for the same period a year ago, as expense assessment revenue increased 11% and investments in distribution and technology continued in the quarter.
In the quarter, gross deposits were $1.3 billion, a 15% increase over the fourth quarter of 2006. The Lincoln Alliance® Program, a medium to large case employer-sponsored retirement plan solution, drove results with $610 million in deposits, a 33% increase.
For the year, gross deposits were $5.6 billion and net flows were $337 million, driven by a 79% increase in Lincoln Alliance® Program deposits of $2.8 billion. These inflows were offset by continued net outflows in Lincoln Multi-Fund® Variable Annuity, an older small to medium case retirement plan solution. In addition, Lincoln DirectorSM, a small case group variable annuity product, recorded negative net outflows as a result of the termination of a third party wholesaling arrangement in the fourth quarter of 2006. At the end of 2007, the defined contribution business had more than doubled their wholesaler count to 80 since December 31, 2006.
In the quarter, income from operations for Executive Benefits was $15 million, compared to $13 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.
For the fourth quarter, Group Protection's income from operations was $28 million, versus $33 million in the prior-year period. Both the current and prior-year periods reflect favorable loss ratios that benefited income from operations. Favorable non-medical loss ratios of 70.7% contributed approximately $3 million, after tax, to the current quarter's results. The expected range is 7174%.
Annualized premiums for new business posted double digit increases and reached record levels for the quarter and full-year, driven by strong performance in core markets. Annualized premiums were $143 million, up 26%, and $326 million, up 20%, for the fourth quarter and full-year 2007 compared to 2006 (including premiums reported by Jefferson-Pilot in the first quarter of 2006), respectively.
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The Investment Management segment reported income from operations of $27 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, which compares to $14 million in the prior year period. The current quarter included net positive items of approximately $7 million, after tax, primarily related to a reduction in incentive compensation expense accruals.
Total deposits for the quarter were $5.8 billion compared to $8.1 billion a year ago. Strong retail mutual fund sales of $2.2 billion were up 27%, and institutional equity deposits were $1.7 billion, up 33%; while retail managed accounts and institutional fixed income continued to be pressured.
Full-year gross deposits were $23.8 billion, driven by a 32% increase in mutual funds as compared to 2006 and solid growth in Lincoln Financial's multi-manager annuity products.
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For the fourth quarter, the UK segment's income from operations was $13 million, versus $10 million in the same year-ago period, as the current quarter continued to benefit from favorable exchange rates.
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For the fourth quarter and subsequent periods, Other Operations includes the results from the remaining Lincoln Financial Media properties. The operating loss in Other Operations was $62 million in the quarter, versus $30 million in the prior-year quarter. The 2007 quarter included approximately $18 million, after tax, of unfavorable expense items primarily related to non-qualified benefit plan changes and $28 million, pre tax, of merger-related expenses.
Through the end of 2007, Lincoln Financial had achieved approximately $175 million, pre tax, of annualized merger-related savings toward a targeted range of $195205 million, pre tax.
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Capital and Share Repurchase
As of December 31, 2007, the book value per share of Lincoln National Corporation common stock, including AOCI, was $44.36, compared with $44.21 a year ago. Book value per share, excluding AOCI, was $43.46, compared with $41.99 a year ago. Lincoln Financial repurchased 5.1 million shares in the fourth quarter at a total cost of $300 million. For the full year, the company repurchased 15.4 million shares for approximately $986 million.
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Realized Gains and Losses/Impairment Charge
The company reported net realized losses of $71 million in the quarter, including $193 million, pre tax and DAC, of gross losses from the write downs for impairments on securities primarily backed by subprime-related loans, financial institutions, and structured products with exposure to financials. See attached reconciliation of income from operations to net income for additional detail.
Glass concluded, "Lincoln is well positioned for the future with one of the fastest growing variable annuity businesses in the industry, good momentum in our individual life and group protection businesses, a solid investment management platform and a defined contribution strategy focused on higher growth markets. We expect further distribution expansion and product development in 2008 will continue to drive the market leading growth we achieved in 2007."
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Lincoln Financial expects results to continue to build on market share gains experienced in 2007 with solid variable flows and growth in account values, recognizing results are sensitive to equity market movements. The company anticipates fixed annuity outflows to moderate throughout 2008. Fixed annuity spreads are expected to remain stable throughout 2008 in the 200 basis point range.
Individual Life Insurance
Lincoln Financial anticipates production to build off strong 2007 results with growth rates moderating in 2008. Income from operations is expected to benefit from mid-single-digit growth in in-force and account values, driving stable growth in revenue, while spreads are expected to remain in the 180 basis point range. Results can be sensitive to mortality experience and alternative investment income.
Investments in distribution are expected to maintain the full-year production growth rates experienced in 2007 for the Defined Contribution segment, recognizing results are sensitive to equity market movements. Fixed annuity spreads are expected in the 230 basis point range. For the Group Protection segment, Lincoln Financial anticipates non-medical loss ratios will be in the 7174% range and annualized premiums are expected to grow at approximately 10%.
For Investment Management, Lincoln Financial expects income from operations in the low to mid $60 million range, reflective of the equity market declines in the first month of the year. Pre-tax operating margins are expected to build from the 20% range, recognizing results are sensitive to equity market movements.
For the UK segment, Lincoln Financial expects earnings in the low $40 million range, assuming stable exchange rates.
Equity Market Sensitivities
There is an impact to earnings from the effects of equity market movements on account values and assets under management and the related asset based fees earned and expenses incurred. Lincoln Financial estimates approximately $7 million annual earnings impact after the associated DAC amortization, from a 1% change in the equity markets, excluding the impact to sales, persistency, hedge program performance and changes to customer behavior. In general, Lincoln Financial does not unlock its long-term equity market assumptions used in the amortization of DAC, VOBA, DSI and DFEL based upon short-term fluctuations in the equity markets.
Alternative Investment Income
Lincoln Financial expects a long-term return in the range of 1012% on its alternative investments portfolio of approximately $800 million, which is mainly comprised of limited partnerships, private equity, hedge funds, oil and gas and real estate investments. However, quarterly results can differ materially from long-term expectations. In the near term, the company expects returns on alternative investments to be pressured.
Merger-related expenses in 2008 are expected to range from $5060 million, pre tax, including approximately $2025 million, pre tax, in the first quarter.
Lincoln Financial intends to repurchase approximately $500600 million of stock in 2008, including share repurchase activity that may be supported by proceeds from the previously announced sales of the media properties.
This outlook contains estimates that are forward-looking, and actual results may differ materially. Lincoln Financial's actual experience in 2008 will almost certainly differ from many of the assumptions utilized in the outlook and the company's expectations for these and a large number of other factors will probably change, leading us to revise our estimates over time. Please see the Forward-Looking Statements Cautionary Language that follow for additional factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from our current expectations.
Lincoln Financial Group will discuss the company's fourth quarter results and outlook for 2008 with investors in a conference call beginning at 11:00 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, February 5, 2008. The company will also post its fourth quarter 2007 statistical supplement on its Web site, www.LincolnFinancial.com/investor.
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in Philadelphia, the companies of Lincoln Financial Group had assets under management of $237 billion as of December 31, 2007. Through its affiliated companies, Lincoln Financial Group offers: annuities; life, group life and disability insurance;
401(k) and 403(b) plans; savings plans; mutual funds; managed accounts; institutional investments; and comprehensive financial planning and advisory services. Affiliates also include: Delaware Investments, the marketing name for Delaware Management Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries; and Lincoln UK. For more information, including a copy of our most recent SEC reports containing our balance sheets, please visit www.LincolnFinancial.com.
Financial data will be posted at www.LincolnFinancial.com/investor