Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday. The brokerage currently has $83.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.
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 2, which increases the predictive power of ESP, combined with an Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.”
PFG has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of Principal Financial Group from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Tuesday. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $73.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research report on Monday, December 11th. Goldman Sachs Group started 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. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Principal Financial Group from $67.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Principal Financial Group has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $68.90.
Shares of Principal Financial Group (PFG) traded up $0.33 on Friday, hitting $74.21. 1,043,177 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,080,000. The firm has a market capitalization of $21,430.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.17, a P/E/G 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 1-year low of $56.12 and a 1-year high of $74.40.
Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $3.95 billion for 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 period in the prior year, the company posted $1.15 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 28th. Investors of record on Monday, December 4th were given a $0.49 dividend. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.64%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 1st. This is a positive change from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Principal Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio is 32.13%.
In related news, EVP Gary P. Scholten sold 24,310 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.59, for a total value of $1,740,352.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Nora Mary Everett sold 12,398 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total transaction of $843,064.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 369,535 shares of company stock valued at $25,938,392 in the last three months. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Cookson Peirce & Co. Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 0.8% during the second quarter. Cookson Peirce & Co. Inc. now owns 6,660 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $427,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Veritable L.P. increased its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 4.0% during the second quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 6,137 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $393,000 after buying an additional 235 shares in the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 3.2% during the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 8,540 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $547,000 after buying an additional 266 shares in the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 0.3% during the second quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 94,809 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,074,000 after buying an additional 294 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Virtu KCG Holdings LLC increased its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 5.0% during the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 8,527 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $546,000 after buying an additional 405 shares in the last quarter. 68.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: This article was originally posted by The Ledger Gazette and is the sole property of of The Ledger Gazette. If you are accessing this article on another site, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of U.S. & international copyright and trademark laws. The legal version of this article can be accessed at https://ledgergazette.com/2018/01/13/principal-financial-group-pfg-upgraded-to-buy-at-zacks-investment-research.html.
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.
Receive News & Ratings for Principal Financial Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Principal Financial Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.