Shares of Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) have received an average rating of “Hold” from the eleven brokerages that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have assigned a hold recommendation and three have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month target price among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $61.67.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on PFG shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Principal Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. BidaskClub raised Principal Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on Principal Financial Group from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday.

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Shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) traded up 1.07% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $65.01. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 678,599 shares. Principal Financial Group has a 52-week low of $46.40 and a 52-week high of $67.73. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $65.58 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.36. The firm has a market cap of $18.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.78 and a beta of 1.65.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $3.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.16 billion. Principal Financial Group had a return on equity of 13.57% and a net margin of 10.15%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.15 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Principal Financial Group will post $5.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Principal Financial Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to repurchase $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to buy up to 1.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This is a positive change from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.89%. Principal Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 41.82%.

In other news, EVP Gary P. Scholten sold 21,950 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.04, for a total value of $1,427,628.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Luis E. Valdes sold 10,375 shares of Principal Financial Group stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.00, for a total value of $664,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 355,913 shares of company stock worth $23,099,450. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of PFG. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Principal Financial Group by 27.3% in the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 86,272 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,527,000 after buying an additional 18,512 shares during the last quarter. L & S Advisors Inc acquired a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group during the second quarter valued at about $403,000. Sun Life Financial INC raised its position in shares of Principal Financial Group by 21,822.2% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,973 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 1,964 shares during the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Principal Financial Group by 60.2% in the second quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 50,345 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,220,000 after buying an additional 18,928 shares during the last quarter. Finally, QS Investors LLC raised its stake in shares of Principal Financial Group by 0.8% in the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 115,254 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $7,384,000 after buying an additional 940 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.10% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG)

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