PPL (NYSE:PPL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “PPL Corporation is poised to gain from its capital investment plan that primarily focuses on infrastructure construction projects for generation, transmission and distribution. It has reestablished its hedge levels to shield itself from any near-term decline in the GBP. PPL Corp’s earnings are expected to improve annually by 5-6% in the 2018-2020 period, thanks to the contribution from its domestic operations. However, in last three months, loss in the value of PPL Corporation’s shares was wider compared with the industry. Stringent emission regulation, high debt levels amid rising interest rates and risks of unplanned outage of power plants are some of the headwinds of the company.”
Several other brokerages also recently commented on PPL. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of PPL in a research report on Thursday, November 30th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of PPL from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 price target on shares of PPL in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. UBS started coverage on shares of PPL in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Macquarie downgraded shares of PPL from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $30.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. PPL presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $37.50.
Shares of PPL stock traded down $0.02 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $27.24. 858,203 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,985,382. PPL has a 1-year low of $27.12 and a 1-year high of $40.20. The company has a market cap of $19,023.90, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.59, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.54. The company has a quick ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84.
PPL (NYSE:PPL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.07. PPL had a net margin of 15.15% and a return on equity of 14.75%. The company had revenue of $1.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.03 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.60 EPS. PPL’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that PPL will post 2.32 EPS for the current year.
In other news, Chairman Victor A. Staffieri sold 19,524 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.60, for a total value of $616,958.40. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 29,084 shares in the company, valued at approximately $919,054.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Joanne H. Raphael sold 2,205 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.19, for a total transaction of $64,363.95. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 16,799 shares in the company, valued at approximately $490,362.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 52,978 shares of company stock worth $1,652,939 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in shares of PPL by 1.9% in the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,784,213 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $67,711,000 after purchasing an additional 33,483 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in PPL by 8.4% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,825,189 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,266,000 after acquiring an additional 140,670 shares during the period. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its stake in PPL by 34.2% during the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 187,554 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,117,000 after acquiring an additional 47,827 shares during the period. Rothschild Investment Corp IL raised its stake in PPL by 33.8% during the 4th quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL now owns 13,250 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $410,000 after acquiring an additional 3,350 shares during the period. Finally, KBC Group NV raised its stake in PPL by 5.0% during the 3rd quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 76,705 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,911,000 after acquiring an additional 3,633 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.44% of the company’s stock.
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PPL Corporation, a utility holding company, delivers electricity and natural gas in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company operates in three segments: U.K. Regulated, Kentucky Regulated, and Pennsylvania Regulated. It serves 411,000 electric and 326,000 natural gas customers in Louisville and adjacent areas in Kentucky; 525,000 customers in central, southeastern, and western Kentucky; and approximately 28,000 customers in 5 counties in southwestern Virginia, and 3 customers in Tennessee.
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