Principal Financial Group (PFG) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Focus on fee-based revenue sources has been helping Principal Financial to earn steadily and limits exposure to the interest rate environment. The company targets a return on equity improvement of 30-60 basis points annually. Its inorganic story remains impressive with buyouts strengthening international footprint. The company’s assets under management have also been steadily increasing. It also remains focused on effective capital deployment to enhance the shareholder value, targeting $0.9-$1.3 billion in 2018. Estimates also moved up for 2018. However, higher leverage inducing increase in interest weigh on margin expansion remains a headwind. Shares of Principal Financial have underperformed the industry in a year. The company is set to report fourth-quarter results on Jan 29. A Zacks Rank of 3, which increases the predictive power of ESP, combined with an Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on PFG. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group from $67.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 price objective on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co set a $76.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $68.90.

Shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE PFG) traded down $0.39 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $73.66. 353,627 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,020,000. The company has a market capitalization of $21,290.00, a PE ratio of 12.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 1.72. 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 fifty-two week low of $56.12 and a fifty-two week high of $74.80.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) 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 the consensus estimate 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 period last year, the business earned $1.15 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Principal Financial Group news, CFO Deanna D. Strable-Soethout sold 18,905 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.07, for a total value of $1,324,673.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Nora Mary Everett sold 17,290 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.16, for a total transaction of $1,213,066.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 301,958 shares of company stock worth $21,343,156 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its holdings 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 purchasing an additional 1,964 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 215.0% during the fourth quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 2,611 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $184,000 after purchasing an additional 1,782 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the second quarter worth $210,000. First Heartland Consultants Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the third quarter worth $224,000. Finally, Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the third quarter worth $226,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.64% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG)

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