Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) has been assigned a $79.00 target price by equities researchers at Wells Fargo & Company in a research note issued on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a “buy” rating on the financial services provider’s stock. Wells Fargo & Company’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 10.44% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “We are maintaining our 2018E EPS of $5.65, largely due to better margins in RIS-Spread roughly offsetting slower topline growth in RIS-Fee versus our expectation. PFG’s accelerated digital investment initiative is expected to reduce 2018 operating earnings growth by around 2%. The long-term earnings growth target is unchanged at 9-12%. Our price target remains $79 per share. Implied 2018 EPS guidance range of $4.75 to $5.98. In addition to macro assumptions, Principal offered a range of revenue and margin expectations for each of its business units, which we cobbled into an implied consolidated EPS range with a midpoint of roughly $5.37. For the company’s spread businesses, each ±100 bps in interest rates should impact annual pre-tax operating earnings by less than 1%, all else being equal. Similarly, each ±10% in equity returns should impact pre-tax operating earnings by ±4-6%.””

PFG has been the subject of a number of other reports. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Principal Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 price target for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Principal Financial Group from $67.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $68.20.

Shares of Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) traded down $0.23 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $71.53. 849,500 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,109,322. Principal Financial Group has a 52 week low of $56.12 and a 52 week high of $72.23. The company has a quick ratio of 0.10, a current ratio of 0.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. The firm has a market cap of $20,300.00, a P/E ratio of 13.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.71.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.28 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by ($0.02). Principal Financial Group had a net margin of 12.35% and a return on equity of 13.55%. The business had revenue of $3.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.12 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.15 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 EPS for the current year.

In other Principal Financial Group news, insider Nora Mary Everett sold 12,398 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total transaction of $843,064.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Karen E. Shaff sold 50,561 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.51, for a total value of $3,514,495.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 191,413 shares of company stock worth $13,244,925. 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 PFG. Sun Life Financial INC raised its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 21,822.2% during the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,973 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 1,964 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $210,000. First Heartland Consultants Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $224,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $226,000. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Principal Financial Group in the 3rd quarter valued at about $255,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.76% of the company’s stock.

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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. 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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