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Rating Agency Warms to Lincoln National

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Moody’s Investors Service has changed its outlook on Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC) to stable, from negative.

Moody’s, New York, has assigned a Baa2 rating to the senior debt of Lincoln, Radnor, Pa., and A2 insurance financial strength ratings to the operating subsidiaries.

The change in outlook “primarily reflects the improvement in the company’s financial flexibility and stabilization of its business profile,” Moody’s says.

Lincoln has raised about $2 billion in new capital, reduced dependence on short-term financing, and improved holding company liquidity, Moody’s says.

First-quarter sales were stronger, and net flows were positive, Moody’s says.

Possible risks still facing the company include the weak economy, exposure to commercial real estate investments, and responsibility for a large block of variable annuities with guarantees, Moody’s says.

Moody’s recently noted that a number of life insurers have improved their finances in recent quarters.