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 0.1%. By the end of trading, Principal Financial Group rose $0.57 (1.2%) to $47.44 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,361,747 shares of Principal Financial Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,398,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $46.78-$47.47 after having opened the day at $46.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.87. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Supertel Hospitality ( SPPR), up 12.0%, Sun Bancorp ( SNBC), up 11.2%, Income Opportunity Realty Investors ( IOT), up 10.1% and Transcontinental Realty Investors ( TCI), up 8.3%.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services. It operates through Retirement and Investor Services, Principal Global Investors, Principal International, and U.S. Insurance Solutions segments. Principal Financial Group has a market cap of $13.6 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Principal Financial Group a buy, 5 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, United Security ( USBI), down 4.8%, First Financial Service Corporation ( FFKY), down 4.6%, Manhattan Bridge Capital ( LOAN), down 4.2% and QIWI ( QIWI), down 4.0% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Digital Realty ( DLR) 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).

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