Principal Financial Group (PFG) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $65.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 10.86% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Focus on fee-based revenue sources has been helping Principal Financial earn steadily and limiting its exposure to the interest rate environment. The company targets an ROE improvement of 30-60 basis points annually and a long-term earnings growth rate between 9% and 12%. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive with buyouts fortifying the international footprint. Its assets under management have also been steadily rising. Also, it aims at a $0.9-$1.3-billion capital deployment in 2018. The company has also witnessed its 2018 and 2019 estimates move north over the last 60 days. However, higher leverage inducing increase in interest and dilution from acquisition remain a headwind. Shares of Principal Financial have underperformed the industry in a year's time.”

PFG has been the topic of several other research reports. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Principal Financial Group from $70.00 to $69.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 11th. Barclays decreased their price objective on Principal Financial Group from $72.00 to $68.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, July 9th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on Principal Financial Group from $62.00 to $56.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 17th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $67.40.

PFG opened at $58.63 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.10, a current ratio of 0.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. Principal Financial Group has a 12-month low of $52.31 and a 12-month high of $75.58.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.58 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 business earned $1.31 EPS. equities analysts predict that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider James P. Mccaughan sold 20,000 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.44, for a total transaction of $1,108,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders have sold a total of 60,000 shares of company stock worth $3,271,600 in the last three months. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in PFG. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 331.3% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,780,869 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $108,473,000 after buying an additional 1,367,946 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 4,479.7% in the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 847,191 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $44,859,000 after buying an additional 828,692 shares in the last quarter. Mainstay Capital Management LLC ADV boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 2,445.0% in the 2nd quarter. Mainstay Capital Management LLC ADV now owns 802,356 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $15,654,000 after buying an additional 770,829 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 3,448.3% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 386,764 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $20,479,000 after buying an additional 375,864 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 41.3% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,253,735 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $66,386,000 after buying an additional 366,362 shares in the last quarter. 68.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Principal Financial Group

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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