Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Principal Financial have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. Higher leverage inducing increase in interest and weighing on margin expansion remains a headwind. However, focus on fee-based revenue sources has been helping Principal Financial earn steadily and limiting exposure to the interest rate environment. The company targets a return on equity improvement of 30-60 basis points, annually. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive with buyouts fortifying international footprint. The company’s assets under management have also been steadily rising. Plus, it sets sights on effective capital deployment to enhance shareholder value, targeting to reach $0.9-$1.3-billion mark in 2018. Principal Financial’s fourth-quarter bottom line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Though disciplined expense management lowered expenses, lower premiums and other considerations offset this upside.”
Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Goldman Sachs Group raised Principal Financial Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $79.00 price target on Principal Financial Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on Principal Financial Group from $80.00 to $79.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $76.00 price target on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Principal Financial Group from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $70.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, February 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $73.10.
Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by ($0.18). The business had revenue of $3.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.32 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 company earned $1.27 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Principal Financial Group news, EVP Timothy Mark Dunbar sold 16,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.23, for a total value of $1,151,772.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Luis E. Valdes sold 47,662 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.04, for a total value of $3,338,246.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 205,784 shares of company stock valued at $14,464,389. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. AMP Capital Investors Ltd raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 4.2% during the third quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 183,893 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,831,000 after purchasing an additional 7,492 shares during the last quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Principal Financial Group during the third quarter worth approximately $268,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 9.2% during the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 961,374 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $61,855,000 after purchasing an additional 81,084 shares during the last quarter. Blue Chip Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 9.7% during the third quarter. Blue Chip Partners Inc. now owns 81,629 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,252,000 after purchasing an additional 7,227 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 15.0% during the third quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 25,584 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,646,000 after purchasing an additional 3,335 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 68.64% of the company’s stock.
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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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