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Principal increasing shareholder payments amid cuts to insurance, retirement businesses


Des Moines Register: Executives at Des Moines-based Principal Financial expect to increase payments to shareholders as the company sells off some of its traditional lines of business. Company leaders said during a presentation Tuesday that they plan to route more free cash flow to investors over the next couple of years. The company believes the move will increase share prices. The presentation came a day after the financial services company announced it will stop selling life insurance products to retail customers, ending a line of business it has conducted for 142 years. Principal also will stop selling fixed-annuity retirement plans. Chief Financial Officer Deanna Strable said she expects the moves to increase the amount of free cash that Principal will hold. Company executives said they expect to provide $3 billion to shareholders via stock buybacks and dividend payments through the end of 2022. The company paid about $1.8 billion to shareholders through those two methods in 2019 and 2020, according to financial filings.

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