Principal Financial Group Inc (PFG) Short Interest Update

Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 3,737,339 shares, a growth of Infinity from the December 15th total of 0 shares. Currently, 1.3% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 811,134 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.6 days.

Several research firms have commented on PFG. Zacks Investment Research lowered Principal Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research report on Monday, December 11th. Wells Fargo & Co lowered Principal Financial Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on Principal Financial Group in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Principal Financial Group from $67.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $68.50.

In related news, insider Nora Mary Everett sold 12,398 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total value of $843,064.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Timothy Mark Dunbar sold 16,400 shares of the 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 369,535 shares of company stock worth $25,938,392 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PFG. Sun Life Financial INC increased its position in shares of Principal Financial Group by 21,822.2% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,973 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $126,000 after acquiring an additional 1,964 shares during the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Principal Financial Group during the second quarter worth about $210,000. First Heartland Consultants Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Principal Financial Group during the third quarter worth about $224,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Principal Financial Group during the third quarter worth about $226,000. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Principal Financial Group during the third quarter worth about $255,000. 68.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Principal Financial Group (PFG) opened at $73.88 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.10 and a quick ratio of 0.10. Principal Financial Group has a 52-week low of $56.12 and a 52-week high of $74.05. The company has a market capitalization of $21,330.00, a PE ratio of 12.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 1.72.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 28th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 4th were given a dividend of $0.49 per share. This represents a $1.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.65%. This is a positive change from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 1st. Principal Financial Group’s payout ratio is presently 32.13%.

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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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