PPL Corp (PPL) Short Interest Update

PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 45,182,650 shares, a growth of 6.6% from the February 15th total of 42,372,027 shares. Currently, 6.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 4,627,412 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 9.8 days.

PPL has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Desjardins restated an “average” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of PPL in a research report on Monday, January 7th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price target on shares of PPL in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of PPL from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of PPL from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. Finally, Evercore ISI lowered shares of PPL from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating in a report on Thursday, February 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $34.33.

In other PPL news, Chairman Paul W. Thompson sold 4,573 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.25, for a total value of $129,187.25. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 7,419 shares in the company, valued at $209,586.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Gregory N. Dudkin sold 9,430 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.91, for a total transaction of $282,051.30. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 37,503 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,121,714.73. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 256,997 shares of company stock worth $8,265,457 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.38% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of PPL. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in PPL by 5.9% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,237,939 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,763,201,000 after buying an additional 3,475,992 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in PPL by 3.1% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 48,751,387 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,426,465,000 after buying an additional 1,474,816 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in PPL by 58.2% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 17,289,874 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $505,902,000 after buying an additional 6,361,091 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its stake in PPL by 1.1% during the third quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 14,829,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $433,899,000 after buying an additional 156,763 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in PPL by 12.2% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 10,366,038 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $293,399,000 after buying an additional 1,129,588 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.89% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:PPL opened at $32.74 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $23.60 billion, a PE ratio of 13.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.67 and a beta of 0.54. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72. PPL has a 52 week low of $25.30 and a 52 week high of $32.88.

PPL (NYSE:PPL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The utilities provider reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.49 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.88 billion. PPL had a net margin of 23.47% and a return on equity of 14.91%. PPL’s revenue was up .7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.55 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that PPL will post 2.43 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.4125 per share. This represents a $1.65 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.04%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 7th. This is a positive change from PPL’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. PPL’s payout ratio is 68.75%.

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About PPL

PPL Corporation, a utility holding company, delivers electricity and natural gas in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company operates through three segments: U.K. Regulated, Kentucky Regulated, and Pennsylvania Regulated. It serves approximately 414,000 electric and 328,000 natural gas customers in Louisville and adjacent areas in Kentucky; 527,000 electric customers in central, southeastern, and western Kentucky; and 28,000 electric customers in 5 counties in southwestern Virginia.

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