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Principal Financial (PFG) Q1 Earnings: A Surprise in Store?

Principal Financial Group Inc. PFG is set to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 28, after the market closes. Last quarter, the company posted a negative earnings surprise of 2.86%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to be Considered this Quarter  

Principal Financial’s Specialty Benefits segment is likely to have witnessed solid earnings growth on the back of increase in premiums and fees as well as robust sales growth. Also, the company anticipates net revenue growth at its Retirement and Income Solutions. The insurer’s Principal Global Investors is anticipated to generate higher revenues as well.

Individual Life, part of the company’s US Insurance Solutions segment, is likely to report growth in premiums and fees in the to-be-reported quarter.

Principal Financial anticipates an increase in its Asset Under Management (AUM) supported by various growth drivers and the company’s leadership position.

Prudent acquisitions and strategic agreement should also drive the upside. Share buybacks are likely to boost the bottom line.

However, a low interest rate environment is likely to have an adverse impact on the investment results of the company. Moreover, the macroeconomic volatility might weigh on the revenues from the company’s fee-based businesses.

With respect to the surprise trend, Principal Financial delivered positive surprises in two of the last four quarters with an average beat of 1.21%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Principal Financial is likely to beat on earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Principal Financial has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 99 cents.

Zacks Rank: Principal Financial holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, an ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies from the finance sector that you may want to consider as these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Federated Investors, Inc. FII has an Earnings ESP of +2.33% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is slated to report first-quarter earnings on Apr 28.

Legg Mason Inc. LM has an Earnings ESP of +7.69% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is set to report first-quarter earnings on Apr 29.

American Financial Group Inc. AFG has an Earnings ESP of +4.13% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is slated to report first-quarter earnings on May 2.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
LEGG MASON INC (LM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FEDERATED INVST (FII): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PRINCIPAL FINL (PFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AMER FINL GROUP (AFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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