NU Online News Service, May 4, 2004, 2:11 p.m. EDT – The stock market rebound helped Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, overcome falling revenue at its mortgage banking unit during the first quarter.[@@]

Principal is reporting $193.4 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.3 billion in revenue, up from $155.7 in net income on $2.3 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2003.

A drop in mortgage loan refinancing activity cut mortgage unit revenue to $255.6 million, from $404.5 million, but the unit managed to scrape up $28.6 million in operating profits.

Operating profits at the U.S. asset management unit jumped 25%, to $122 million.

Operating profits at the life and health unit increased to $74.8 million, from $59.1 million, in part because of relatively low claim rates for individual life, individual disability, and dental and vision benefits policies, Principal says.