Principal Financial Group’s (PFG) “Hold” Rating Reiterated at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Principal Financial’s third-quarter earnings per share miss estimates. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry year to date. Nonetheless, the bottom line improved year over year. While assets under management grew, investment performance remained solid. Focus on fee-based revenue sources has been helping Principal Financial earn steadily and limiting its exposure to the interest rate environment as well. The company targets an ROE expansion of 30-60 basis points annually and a long-term earnings growth rate between 9% and 12%. Its inorganic growth story is impressive with buyouts fortifying the global footprint and adding fee-based businesses. Its assets under management have also seen a consistent rise. It aims at $0.9-$1.3-billion capital deployment in 2018 and targets to pay 40% of net income as dividend in future. However, higher leverage inducing increase in interest and dilution from acquisition are headwinds”

PFG has been the topic of a number of other reports. UBS Group boosted their target price on Principal Financial Group from $57.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Principal Financial Group in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. They set a hold rating and a $61.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on Principal Financial Group from $64.00 to $61.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on Principal Financial Group from $62.00 to $56.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 17th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $64.70.

Shares of Principal Financial Group stock traded down $0.28 on Wednesday, reaching $48.24. 2,004,741 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,595,646. Principal Financial Group has a fifty-two week low of $45.20 and a fifty-two week high of $75.58.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67. The company had revenue of $4.35 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.86 billion.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 28th. Investors of record on Monday, December 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.48%. This is a positive change from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 30th.

In related news, insider Amy Christine Friedrich sold 1,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total transaction of $103,700.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Daniel Gelatt purchased 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 5th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $48.10 per share, for a total transaction of $1,202,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 138,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,671,181.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. acquired a new position in Principal Financial Group during the second quarter valued at $100,000. First Mercantile Trust Co. raised its position in Principal Financial Group by 101.1% during the second quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 1,910 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 960 shares during the period. Dupont Capital Management Corp raised its position in Principal Financial Group by 140.2% during the second quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 2,356 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 1,375 shares during the period. Focused Wealth Management Inc raised its position in Principal Financial Group by 2,090.9% during the second quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc now owns 2,410 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 2,300 shares during the period. Finally, Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. acquired a new position in Principal Financial Group during the third quarter valued at $152,000. 68.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Principal Financial Group Company Profile

Principal Financial Group, Inc provides retirement, asset management, and insurance products and services to businesses, individuals, and institutional clients worldwide. It operates through Retirement and Income Solutions, Principal Global Investors, Principal International, and U.S. Insurance Solutions segments.

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