http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/48143050-lincoln-national-corp-lnc-q4-2012.aspx

Lincoln National Corp LNC
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/07/2013

Operator: Good afternoon, and thank you for standing by. Thank you for joining the Lincoln Financial Group's Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all lines are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will announce the opportunity for questions, and instructions will be given at that time.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference call over to Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, Jim Sjoreen. Please go ahead, sir.

Jim Sjoreen - VP, IR: Thank you, operator, and good afternoon and welcome to Lincoln's fourth quarter earnings call. Before we begin, I have an important reminder. Any comments made during the call regarding future expectations, trends and market conditions, including comments about liquidity and capital resources, premiums, expenses and income from operations are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. These risks and uncertainties are described in the cautionary statement disclosures in our earnings release issued yesterday, and our reports on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and the soon to be filed 10-K.

We appreciate your participation today and invite you to visit Lincoln's website, www.lincolnfinancial.com, where you can find our press release and statistical supplement, which include a full reconciliation of the non-GAAP measures used in the call, including income from operations and return on equity to their most comparable GAAP measures.

Presenting on today's call are Dennis Glass, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Randy Freitag, Chief Financial Officer. After their prepared remarks, we will move to the question-and-answer portion of the call.

With that I would now like to turn the call over to, Dennis.

Dennis R. Glass - President and CEO: Thank you, Jim. Good morning, everyone. As you have already seen we had a strong fourth quarter contributing to a very good year. Operating earnings per share was up 13%, operating return on equity was 12% and book value per share growth was up 15%. Recapping for a moment some of the actions and strategies implemented in 2012 that contributed to the strong results for the year.

Reshaping and re-pricing products combined with our agile and capable distribution system allowed us to pivot away from low return products and transition to higher return products. We introduced new solutions that have bolstered our overall product offerings to better meet customer needs. We repurchased almost $500 million in shares for the full year an effective use of capital given the current stock price. Our strategic investments in technology and distribution notably in Retirement Plan Services and Group Protection laid the foundation for ongoing organic growth.

Let me now share results from our underlying businesses; individual Life had a very good year offering new solutions and executing on the pivot strategy to shift the sales mix. The pivot strategy gained momentum throughout the year and fourth quarter sales reached the same level as last year's fourth quarter an excellent result. The sales mix reflected the successful transition to solutions that not only meet customer needs but also achieve higher returns in a low rate environment.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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