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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Principal Financial Group ( PFG) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Principal Financial Group rose $0.52 (1.0%) to $50.59 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,872,240 shares of Principal Financial Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,221,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $50.00-$50.75 after having opened the day at $50.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.07. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: IFM Investments ( CTC), up 15.4%, Grupo Financiero Galicia ( GGAL), up 10.2%, Tile Shop Holdings ( TTS), up 8.7% and Ladenburg Thalman Financial Services ( LTS), up 8.1%.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services. It operates in four segments: Retirement and Investor Services, Principal Global Investors, Principal International, and U.S. Insurance Solutions. Principal Financial Group has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 75.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Principal Financial Group a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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 solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, DFC Global ( DLLR), down 7.6%, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT), down 7.4%, OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), down 6.5% and American Realty Investors ( ARL), down 6.4% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Annaly Capital Management ( NLY) being today's financial sector laggard.

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

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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