Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) Rating Lowered to Hold at 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 have also recently weighed in 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) started coverage on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 target price for the company. BidaskClub lowered shares of Principal Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $68.00 target price on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of 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 analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $67.40.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) opened at $68.82 on Wednesday. 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 12 month low of $56.12 and a 12 month high of $69.95. The stock has a market cap of $19,880.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.38, a P/E/G ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.71.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate 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 firm earned $1.15 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, Chairman Daniel Joseph Houston sold 38,097 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total transaction of $2,590,596.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider James P. Mccaughan sold 60,814 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.10, for a total transaction of $3,776,549.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 143,537 shares of company stock valued at $9,313,955. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of PFG. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 6,656.1% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,020,597 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $193,529,000 after acquiring an additional 2,975,888 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 1,613.5% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 668,624 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $42,839,000 after acquiring an additional 629,604 shares in the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. raised its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 104.5% in the third quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 1,180,596 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $75,959,000 after acquiring an additional 603,342 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 3.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 18,306,790 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,172,916,000 after acquiring an additional 592,172 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 2.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 30,237,096 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,937,291,000 after acquiring an additional 587,221 shares in the last quarter. 68.13% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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