Zacks Investment Research Lowers Principal Financial Group Inc (PFG) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Principal Financial outperformed the Zacks categorized Investment management industry in the last one year.  Focus on fee-based revenue sources has been helping it to earn steadily, and limits exposure to the interest rate environment. Annuity and insurance business also offer sustained earnings growth. The company’s inorganic story remains impressive with buyouts strengthening its international footprint. It also remains focused on effective capital deployment to enhance shareholder value. However, escalating expenses pose concerns. With respect to quarterly results, Principal Financial’s earnings per share beat expectations and also improved year over year. Investment performance remained strong with prudent expense management and underlying growth across fee, spread and risk businesses.  Notably, the quarter marks the 24th quarter of positive cash flows.”

PFG has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $64.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Tuesday, March 21st. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Principal Financial Group from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co lifted their target price on Principal Financial Group from $53.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Principal Financial Group currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $57.82.

Shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE PFG) opened at 63.40 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $63.56 and its 200-day moving average price is $61.69. Principal Financial Group has a 1-year low of $38.03 and a 1-year high of $66.12. The stock has a market cap of $18.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.28 and a beta of 1.65.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.08. Principal Financial Group had a return on equity of 13.35% and a net margin of 10.37%. The business had revenue of $3.07 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.16 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.97 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Principal Financial Group will post $5.05 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 30th. Investors of record on Monday, June 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 1st. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.90%. This is a boost from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Principal Financial Group’s payout ratio is presently 41.44%.

In related news, SVP Gregory Bernard Elming sold 30,707 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.20, for a total transaction of $1,971,389.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Gary P. Scholten sold 21,950 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.04, for a total value of $1,427,628.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 314,766 shares of company stock valued at $20,154,432. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of PFG. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its position in Principal Financial Group by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 15,337 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $887,000 after buying an additional 61 shares during the last quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new position in Principal Financial Group during the fourth quarter worth about $211,000. Baird Financial Group Inc. acquired a new position in Principal Financial Group during the fourth quarter worth about $513,000. Allianz Asset Management AG boosted its position in Principal Financial Group by 7.8% in the fourth quarter. Allianz Asset Management AG now owns 373,410 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $21,605,000 after buying an additional 26,870 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Principal Financial Group by 878.8% in the fourth quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 476,668 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $27,580,000 after buying an additional 427,968 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.57% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG)

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