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Principal Financial (PFG) Q1 Earnings Beat, Revenues Miss

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Principal Financial Group, Inc.’s (PFG - Free Report) first-quarter 2019 operating net income of $1.43 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.3%. Also, the bottom line increased 2.1% year over year.

Principal Financial recorded growth in assets under management (AUM). The company’s investment performance also remained solid. It was able to maintain disciplined expense management. Moreover, the company displayed a balanced approach to capital management.

Behind the Headlines

Operating revenues rose 25.8% year over year to $3.7 billion. Higher premiums and other considerations plus net investment income drove this upside. The top line however missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.07%.

Total expenses increased 32.6% year over year to $3.2 billion due to higher benefits, claims and settlement expenses as well as operating expenses.

Principal Financial’s Asset Under Management (AUM) as of Mar 31, 2019 amounted to $675.4 billion, up 0.3% year over year.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Segment Update

Retirement and Income Solution: Revenues surged nearly 60.5% year over year to about $1.9 billion.

Pre-tax operating earnings decreased 1.4% year over year to $240.6 million on account of weak performance at Retirement and Income Solution — Fee as well as Spread business.

Principal Global Investors: Revenues of $339 million were down 8% from the prior-year quarter.

Operating earnings declined 11.4% year over year to $100.7 million due to lower revenues.

Principal International: Revenues fell 0.7% year over year to $380.5 million in the quarter.

Operating earnings increased 21.4% year over year to $111.1 million driven by growth in the business, favorable encaje performance and Latin American inflation.

U.S. Insurance Solution: Revenues grew 5.1% year over year to $1.1 billion.

Operating earnings of $110.7 million declined 3.7% year over year, mainly due to soft performance at Specialty Benefits Insurance business.

Corporate: Operating loss of $84.4 million was wider than $67.6 million loss incurred a year ago. This downside was attributable to higher expenses.

Financial Update

As of Mar 31, 2019, cash and cash equivalents were $2.9 billion, down 3.3% year over year.

At first-quarter end, debt was $3.3 billion, up 0.4% year over year.

As of Mar 31, 2019, book value per share (excluding AOCI other than foreign currency translation adjustment) was $42.74, up 4.7% year over year.

Dividend and Share Repurchase Update

The company paid $150.2 million in dividends and deployed $129.7 million to buy back 2.7 million shares in the quarter under review.

The board of directors approved second-quarter dividend of 54 cents per share, up 8% year over year.

Zacks Rank

Principal Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Finance Stocks

Among other players from the finance sector having reported first-quarter results so far, MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG - Free Report) , The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) and The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings

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