Zacks Investment Research Lowers Principal Financial Group Inc. (PFG) to Sell
According to Zacks, “Principal Financial’s investment results will likely be hurt by a soft interest rate environment, restricting any major improvement. Escalating expenses pose concerns. Going by the surprise trend, the company delivered negative surprises in three of the last four quarters. Nonetheless, the company’s 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. Banking on these positives, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 and 2017 witnessed upward revisions over the last 60 days.”
PFG has been the subject of a number of other reports. RBC Capital Markets set a $52.00 price target on Principal Financial Group and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Stifel Nicolaus raised Principal Financial Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $55.00 price target for the company in a research note on Sunday, July 31st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a sell rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their price target on Principal Financial Group from $41.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Principal Financial Group presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $48.43.
Shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) opened at 52.55 on Tuesday. Principal Financial Group has a 52-week low of $33.09 and a 52-week high of $52.83. The company has a 50 day moving average of $49.31 and a 200 day moving average of $44.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.49 and a beta of 1.66.
Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.15 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.09. Principal Financial Group had a return on equity of 12.52% and a net margin of 10.20%. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.09 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Principal Financial Group will post $4.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This is a positive change from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. Principal Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.86%.
In other news, EVP Timothy Mark Dunbar sold 5,000 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.00, for a total transaction of $260,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.78% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 2.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 25,604,401 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,052,596,000 after buying an additional 625,098 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 0.4% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,791,210 shares of the company’s stock valued at $465,166,000 after buying an additional 46,665 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 3.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 7,368,413 shares of the company’s stock valued at $290,684,000 after buying an additional 227,460 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 15.9% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,569,727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $228,971,000 after buying an additional 762,225 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 7.1% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,545,210 shares of the company’s stock valued at $145,725,000 after buying an additional 234,941 shares in the last quarter. 67.09% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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 services. The Company’s segments include Retirement and Income Solutions; Principal Global Investors, Principal International, and U.S.
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