Lincoln Financial 2nd-qtr profit beats Street

Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:01pm EDT

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Life insurer Lincoln Financial Group posted a higher quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates, helped by strong sales in its group protection segment.

Second-quarter net income rose 7 percent to $324 million, or $1.10 per share, from $304 million, or 95 cents per share, a year ago.

Operating profit, a key metric of profitability for insurers as it excludes certain investment gains and losses, fell slightly to $322 million, or $1.09 per share.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $1.00 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue for the quarter rose 3 percent to $2.90 billion.

Group protection sales grew by a third to $89 million during the quarter.

Lincoln Financial shares closed at $19.84 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.