Principal Financial Group (PFG): Today's Featured Financial Services 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 Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Principal Financial Group rose $1.50 (3.4%) to $46.29 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,319,019 shares of Principal Financial Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,422,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $45.30-$47.84 after having opened the day at $46.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.79. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: A-Mark Precious Metals ( AMRK), up 4.4%, Paulson Capital ( PLCC), up 4.3%, Eagle Capital Growth Fund ( GRF), up 4.2% and Community Bankers ( ESXB), up 2.4%.

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 $13.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 9.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Principal Financial Group a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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, QIWI ( QIWI), down 6.1%, GSV Capital ( GSVC), down 5.9%, GAIN Capital Holdings ( GCAP), down 5.7% and Ladenburg Thalman Financial Services ( LTS), down 5.3% , were all laggards within the financial services industry with Capital One Financial ( COF) 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).

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