Shares of Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the eleven ratings firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have assigned a hold recommendation and three have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $61.67.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on PFG shares. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted 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.

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Shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE PFG) traded up 0.16% on Friday, reaching $64.53. 441,299 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $18.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.67 and a beta of 1.65. Principal Financial Group has a 12 month low of $46.40 and a 12 month high of $67.73. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $65.53 and its 200 day moving average price is $63.31.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $3.27 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.16 billion. Principal Financial Group had a net margin of 10.15% and a return on equity of 13.57%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.15 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Principal Financial Group will post $5.18 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.92%. This is a boost from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. Principal Financial Group’s payout ratio is presently 41.82%.

Principal Financial Group announced that its board has approved a share buyback program on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to buyback $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 1.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, insider James P. Mccaughan sold 60,817 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction on Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.98, for a total transaction of $4,073,522.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Gary P. Scholten sold 13,495 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.00, for a total value of $904,165.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 355,913 shares of company stock worth $23,099,450 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PFG. Iowa State Bank boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 1.5% in the first quarter. Iowa State Bank now owns 99,466 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,277,000 after buying an additional 1,494 shares during the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co boosted its stake 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 worth $137,000 after buying an additional 52 shares during the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 3.5% in the first quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 94,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,965,000 after buying an additional 3,162 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 3.1% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 230,858 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $14,570,000 after buying an additional 6,913 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 3.4% in the first quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 7,672 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $453,000 after buying an additional 249 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.45% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG)

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