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Principal reports strong 2021 results; share price reaches 20-year high


Principal Financial Group on Monday reported fourth-quarter net income of $471.8 million, or $1.76 per share, compared with $472.6 million, or $1.70 per share, for fourth quarter 2020. For the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2021, net income attributable to Principal was $1,710.6 million, or $6.27 per diluted share, compared with $1,395.8 million, or $5.05 per diluted share, for the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2020. Non-GAAP operating earnings for 2021 were more than $1.8 billion, a 35% increase over 2020. The Des Moines-based company’s board authorized a quarterly stock dividend of 64 cents per share for the first quarter of 2022. Principal’s chairman, president and CEO, Dan Houston, said: “Overall, focused execution across our diversified portfolio of businesses drove strong results throughout the year.” Additionally, Principal returned approximately $1.6 billion to shareholders in 2021 through stock repurchases and dividends, “and we expect to return even more in 2022, including a 14% increase in the first quarter dividend over the year ago quarter we announced last night,” Houston said. Principal common stock was trading above $77 per share this afternoon on the Nasdaq, its highest level since the company became publicly traded in 2001.

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