Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Principal Financial have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. Higher leverage inducing increase in interest and weighing on margin expansion remains a headwind. However, focus on fee-based revenue sources has been helping Principal Financial earn steadily and limiting exposure to the interest rate environment. The company targets a return on equity improvement of 30-60 basis points, annually. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive with buyouts fortifying international footprint. The company’s assets under management have also been steadily rising. Plus, it sets sights on effective capital deployment to enhance shareholder value, targeting to reach $0.9-$1.3-billion mark in 2018. Principal Financial’s fourth-quarter bottom line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Though disciplined expense management lowered expenses, lower premiums and other considerations offset this upside.”
Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on PFG. Wells Fargo & Co set a $79.00 price objective on Principal Financial Group and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a hold rating and set a $76.00 target price on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Principal Financial Group from $80.00 to $79.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $73.10.
Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.37 by ($0.18). The business had revenue of $3.28 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.32 billion. Principal Financial Group had a net margin of 12.35% and a return on equity of 13.55%. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.27 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.51 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 2nd. This is a positive change from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.49. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.29%. Principal Financial Group’s payout ratio is currently 34.87%.
In other news, EVP Timothy Mark Dunbar sold 16,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.23, for a total value of $1,151,772.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Luis E. Valdes sold 27,662 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.02, for a total value of $1,770,921.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 158,122 shares of company stock valued at $11,126,142. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board increased its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 3.6% in the 4th quarter. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board now owns 25,804 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,821,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd increased its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 7.8% in the 3rd quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 12,734 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $819,000 after purchasing an additional 919 shares in the last quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 5.1% in the 3rd quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 19,463 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,251,000 after purchasing an additional 939 shares in the last quarter. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. now owns 184,495 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $13,018,000 after purchasing an additional 957 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ETRADE Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 23.3% in the 3rd quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 5,181 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $333,000 after purchasing an additional 978 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.64% of the company’s stock.
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About Principal Financial Group
Principal Financial Group, Inc is an investment management company. The Company offers a range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance. Its segments include Retirement and Income Solutions; Principal Global Investors, Principal International; U.S. Insurance Solutions, and Corporate.
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