Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, November 1st.

According to Zacks, “Principal Financial’s third-quarter earnings missed estimates but improved year over year. While investment performance and net cash flows remained strong, growth in operating earnings across all businesses was above market average. Focus on fee-based revenue sources has been helping it to earn steadily and limits exposure to the interest rate environment. Principal Financial targets a return on equity improvement of 30-60 basis points annually. Its inorganic story remains impressive with buyouts strengthening its international footprint. Its recent announcement to buy MetLife's Afore will consolidate its presence in Mexico. It also remains focused on effective capital deployment to enhance the shareholder value, targeting $0.8-$1 billion in 2017. However, higher leverage inducing increase in interest weigh on margin expansion remains a headwind. Also, shares of Principal Financial have underperformed the industry year to date.”

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on PFG. Wells Fargo & Company set a $76.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) initiated coverage on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 price objective for the company. BidaskClub cut shares of Principal Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Principal Financial Group from $67.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $67.40.

Shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) traded down $0.03 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $68.03. 1,484,300 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,111,277. The company has a market cap of $19,652.64, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.27, a PEG ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.71. The company has a quick ratio of 0.10, a current ratio of 0.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. Principal Financial Group has a one year low of $56.12 and a one year high of $69.95.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.28 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $3.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.12 billion. Principal Financial Group had a net margin of 12.35% and a return on equity of 13.55%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.15 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider James P. Mccaughan sold 60,814 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.10, for a total value of $3,776,549.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Daniel Joseph Houston sold 38,097 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total value of $2,590,596.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 143,537 shares of company stock worth $9,313,955 over the last ninety days. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in PFG. Sun Life Financial INC grew its stake in Principal Financial Group by 21,822.2% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,973 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after purchasing an additional 1,964 shares during the period. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. bought a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the 1st quarter worth $202,000. Eagle Global Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the 2nd quarter worth $207,000. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the 2nd quarter worth $210,000. Finally, Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. bought a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the 3rd quarter worth $226,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.01% of the company’s stock.

Principal Financial Group Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG)

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