Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 3,737,339 shares, an increase of Infinity from the December 15th total of 0 shares. Approximately 1.3% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 811,134 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.6 days.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) opened at $72.90 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a quick ratio of 0.10 and a current ratio of 0.10. The company has a market cap of $21,050.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.95, a PEG ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 1.72. Principal Financial Group has a 12 month low of $56.12 and a 12 month high of $74.80.

Principal Financial Group (NYSE:PFG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $3.95 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.12 billion. Principal Financial Group had a return on equity of 13.55% and a net margin of 12.35%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.15 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Principal Financial Group will post 5.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 28th. Investors of record on Monday, December 4th were issued a dividend of $0.49 per share. This is an increase from Principal Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.69%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 1st. Principal Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.13%.

Several brokerages have recently commented on PFG. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of Principal Financial Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 price target on shares of Principal Financial Group in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Principal Financial Group from $67.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $68.90.

In other Principal Financial Group news, CEO Daniel Joseph Houston sold 37,080 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.05, for a total value of $2,597,454.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Nora Mary Everett sold 17,290 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.16, for a total transaction of $1,213,066.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 301,958 shares of company stock worth $21,343,156. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of PFG. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Principal Financial Group by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 8,540 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $547,000 after buying an additional 266 shares during the period. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK boosted its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 15.9% in the 2nd quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 82,535 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,288,000 after purchasing an additional 11,315 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 6.5% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 497,833 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $31,896,000 after purchasing an additional 30,486 shares during the period. Martingale Asset Management L P bought a new stake in Principal Financial Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $524,000. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its holdings in Principal Financial Group by 23.5% in the 2nd quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 8,583 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $550,000 after purchasing an additional 1,635 shares during the period. 68.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

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