Principal Financial Group Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:PFG) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, February 2, 2012. Principal Financial Group promotes investment, saving, and insurance products and services in the U.S. and some international markets.

Principal Financial Group Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 75 cents per share, a rise of 13.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 73 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from 74 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $2.81 per share, a rise of 2.2% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell short of estimates last quarter after being in line with forecasts the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported net income of 61 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 71 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported profit of 73 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 0.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.1 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Principal Financial Group as six analysts rate it as a buy, two rate it as a sell and eight rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 52.2% to $71.9 million (20 cents a share) from $150.4 million (44 cents a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue fell 8.7% to $2.09 billion from $2.29 billion.

Key Stats:

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 87.1% in the second quarter, 2.8% in the first quarter and 38.2% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue fell in the third quarter after seeing a rise the quarter before. In the second quarter, revenue rose 4.9%.

Competitors to Watch: Unum Group (NYSE:UNM), AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL), American Independence Corp. (NASDAQ:AMIC), CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM), Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), HealthMarkets, Inc. (NYSE:UCI) and Triple-S Management Corp. (NYSE:GTS).

Stock Price Performance: During November 29, 2011 to January 27, 2012, the stock price had risen $5.18 (23.2%) from $22.36 to $27.54. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between November 25, 2011 and December 7, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 19.1% (+$4.10) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 22, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 11.8% (-$2.94) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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