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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 0.4%. By the end of trading, Principal Financial Group rose $2.51 (6.2%) to $42.97 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4,437,330 shares of Principal Financial Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,404,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $42.00-$43.18 after having opened the day at $42.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.46. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were:

Paulson Capital

(

PLCC

), up 86.3%,

Xoom

(

XOOM

), up 12.0%,

Marine Petroleum

(

MARPS

), up 5.2% and

Nicholas Financial

(

NICK

), up 4.9%.

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 $11.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 41.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front,

Cash Store Financial Services

(

CSFS

), down 7.0%,

GFI Group

(

GFIG

), down 6.5%,

Orix Corporation

(

IX

), down 3.5% and

Siebert Financial Corporation

(

SIEB

), down 3.1% , were all laggards within the financial services industry with

Discover Financial Services

(

DFS

) being today's financial services industry laggard.

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

).

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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