Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued 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.”
Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on PFG. 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. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $73.00 price target on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Monday, December 11th. Goldman Sachs Group raised Principal Financial Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Principal Financial Group from $80.00 to $79.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Principal Financial Group from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $70.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, February 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Principal Financial Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $73.10.
Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by ($0.18). The company had revenue of $3.28 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate 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 in the prior year, the company posted $1.27 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 earnings per share for the current year.
In other Principal Financial Group news, insider Luis E. Valdes sold 47,662 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.04, for a total transaction of $3,338,246.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Daniel Joseph Houston sold 69,894 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.01, for a total transaction of $5,033,066.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 205,784 shares of company stock worth $14,464,389. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its position in Principal Financial Group by 8.4% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,054,197 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $215,072,000 after purchasing an additional 236,694 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group grew its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 17.0% during the 3rd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,807,710 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $115,693,000 after acquiring an additional 262,065 shares in the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 36.6% during the 4th quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 1,612,510 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $113,778,000 after acquiring an additional 431,914 shares in the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH grew its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 29.4% during the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 1,607,888 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $103,451,000 after acquiring an additional 365,068 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,506,176 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $96,908,000 after acquiring an additional 31,107 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other 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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