Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) Shares Gap Down Following Weak Earnings

Principal Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:PFGGet Free Report) gapped down before the market opened on Friday after the company announced weaker than expected quarterly earnings. The stock had previously closed at $81.06, but opened at $78.93. Principal Financial Group shares last traded at $79.07, with a volume of 145,427 shares traded.

The company reported $1.65 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.74 by ($0.09). The business had revenue of $4.05 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.68 billion. Principal Financial Group had a return on equity of 15.25% and a net margin of 8.70%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.48 earnings per share.

Principal Financial Group Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 28th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 12th were issued a dividend of $0.69 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 11th. This is a positive change from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.67. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.49%. Principal Financial Group’s payout ratio is currently 52.67%.

Principal Financial Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Monday, February 12th that permits the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 7.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of brokerages have recently commented on PFG. Evercore ISI boosted their price target on Principal Financial Group from $84.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an “in-line” rating in a report on Thursday, April 11th. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on Principal Financial Group from $86.00 to $91.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Royal Bank of Canada upped their price objective on Principal Financial Group from $75.00 to $83.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their target price on Principal Financial Group from $85.00 to $89.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Principal Financial Group from $81.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and ten have assigned a hold rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, Principal Financial Group presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $80.64.

Get Our Latest Analysis on PFG

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Merit Financial Group LLC raised its position in Principal Financial Group by 2.3% during the 3rd quarter. Merit Financial Group LLC now owns 6,947 shares of the company’s stock worth $501,000 after purchasing an additional 153 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank acquired a new position in Principal Financial Group during the 3rd quarter valued at about $4,667,000. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 15.8% during the 4th quarter. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd now owns 277,157 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,804,000 after purchasing an additional 37,836 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 15.0% during the 3rd quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 4,423,975 shares of the company’s stock valued at $318,836,000 after purchasing an additional 575,646 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. boosted its stake in Principal Financial Group by 1,218.9% during the 4th quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 250,602 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,715,000 after purchasing an additional 231,601 shares during the last quarter. 75.08% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Principal Financial Group Price Performance

The business has a 50 day moving average price of $81.78 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $77.50. The stock has a market cap of $18.61 billion, a PE ratio of 15.10, a P/E/G ratio of 0.86 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a quick ratio of 0.30 and a current ratio of 0.30.

Principal Financial Group Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

Principal Financial Group, Inc provides retirement, asset management, and insurance products and services to businesses, individuals, and institutional clients worldwide. The company operates through Retirement and Income Solutions, Principal Asset Management, and Benefits and Protection segments. The Retirement and Income Solutions segment provides retirement, and related financial products and services.

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