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EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stock Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double or triple in the next 6 to 12-months. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Principal Financial Group (PFG): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

Principal Financial Group ( PFG) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Principal Financial Group rose 32 cents (1.3%) to $25.47 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.5 million shares of Principal Financial Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $24.94-$25.72 after having opened the day at $25.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.15. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: SGOCO Group ( SGOC), up 19.5%, Manhattan Bridge Capital ( LOAN), up 9.4%, Investors Capital Holdings ( ICH), up 8.1%, and Ladenburg Thalman Financial Services ( LTS), up 7.2%.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services worldwide. Principal Financial Group has a market cap of $7.42 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.9, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 22.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Principal Financial Group a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Principal Financial Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, White River Capital ( RVR), down 21.7%, Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), down 8.8%, Ameritrans Capital Corporation ( AMTC), down 5.4%, and Jefferies Group ( JEF), down 3.4%, were all losers within the financial services industry with Capital One Financial ( COF) being today's financial services industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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