Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:PFG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $65.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Principal Financial’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. However, the company’s investment results will likely be hurt by a soft interest rate environment, restricting any major improvement. Escalating expenses pose concerns. With respect to quarterly results, the company’s third-quarter 2016 earnings outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also improved year over year. Strong investment performance, expansion of the company’s solution set as well as strengthening relationships with customers and distributors led to outperformance.”

PFG has been the topic of several other research reports. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on Principal Financial Group from $41.00 to $47.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. RBC Capital Markets restated a buy rating and issued a $61.00 target price (up previously from $52.00) on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, November 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their target price on Principal Financial Group from $52.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, November 17th. Wells Fargo & Co. restated an outperform rating on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upped their price objective on Principal Financial Group from $40.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a sell rating in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $51.43.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) opened at 57.80 on Monday. Principal Financial Group has a 12 month low of $33.09 and a 12 month high of $58.85. The company has a market cap of $16.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.55 and a beta of 1.68. The company’s 50-day moving average is $54.09 and its 200 day moving average is $47.49.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $1.15 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.03. Principal Financial Group had a return on equity of 12.34% and a net margin of 10.63%. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.06 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Principal Financial Group will post $4.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 27th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 5th will be given a dividend of $0.43 per share. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.98%. This is an increase from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 1st. Principal Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.41%.

In other news, EVP Timothy Mark Dunbar sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Karen E. Shaff sold 12,832 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total value of $705,760.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.78% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of PFG. Americafirst Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the second quarter worth about $100,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 17.4% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Virtus Investment Advisers Inc. acquired a new stake in Principal Financial Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $114,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Principal Financial Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $121,000. Finally, Huntington National Bank boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 17.9% in the third quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 2,493 shares of the company’s stock valued at $129,000 after buying an additional 378 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 67.45% of the company’s stock.

Principal Financial Group Company Profile

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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