Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

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 subject of a number of other research reports. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “buy” rating on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co raised their price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group from $53.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. Principal Financial Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $58.80.

Principal Financial Group (PFG) traded up 0.76% on Friday, hitting $64.61. 1,270,195 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $18.62 billion, a PE ratio of 14.56 and a beta of 1.65. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $63.41 and a 200 day moving average of $61.84. Principal Financial Group has a 52 week low of $38.84 and a 52 week high of $66.12.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.19 by $0.08. Principal Financial Group had a net margin of 10.37% and a return on equity of 13.35%. The company had revenue of $3.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.16 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.97 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Principal Financial Group will post $5.05 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 5th were paid a $0.46 dividend. This is an increase from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 1st. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.85%. Principal Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 41.44%.

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In other news, insider Nora Mary Everett sold 8,700 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.52, for a total value of $552,624.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Karen E. Shaff sold 38,105 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.05, for a total transaction of $2,478,730.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 385,212 shares of company stock valued at $24,704,655 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of PFG. CENTRAL TRUST Co increased its position in Principal Financial Group by 2.4% in the first quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 2,176 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 52 shares during the last quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC increased its position in Principal Financial Group by 291.1% in the first quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC now owns 2,691 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $167,000 after buying an additional 2,003 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acquired a new position in Principal Financial Group during the first quarter valued at $202,000. Blair William & Co. IL acquired a new position in Principal Financial Group during the first quarter valued at $205,000. Finally, Washington Trust Bank increased its position in Principal Financial Group by 29.3% in the first quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 3,336 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 755 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.57% of the company’s stock.

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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