PPL’s (PPL) “Hold” Rating Reaffirmed at Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada reiterated their hold rating on shares of PPL (NYSE:PPL) in a report released on Monday, AnalystRatings.com reports. They currently have a $33.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on PPL. Macquarie upgraded PPL from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $27.00 to $32.50 in a research note on Wednesday, October 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded PPL from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $34.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 15th. SunTrust Banks boosted their price target on PPL from $37.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, December 16th. Wells Fargo & Co began coverage on PPL in a research note on Thursday, December 19th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. Finally, ValuEngine cut PPL from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, December 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $39.05.

Shares of NYSE:PPL opened at $36.17 on Monday. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $35.41 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $32.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $26.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.70 and a beta of 0.51. PPL has a 12-month low of $28.55 and a 12-month high of $36.28. The company has a current ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.81.

PPL (NYSE:PPL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 5th. The utilities provider reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $1.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.04 billion. PPL had a net margin of 23.17% and a return on equity of 14.73%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.59 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that PPL will post 2.42 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 10th were paid a $0.4125 dividend. This represents a $1.65 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.56%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 9th. PPL’s dividend payout ratio is currently 68.75%.

In related news, COO Vincent Sorgi sold 13,696 shares of PPL stock in a transaction on Monday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.04, for a total value of $466,211.84. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 30,976 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,054,423.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO William H. Spence sold 388,968 shares of PPL stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.32, for a total value of $13,349,381.76. Insiders sold 790,664 shares of company stock valued at $26,840,754 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Bartlett & Co. LLC grew its holdings in shares of PPL by 100.0% in the third quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $25,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares during the period. Barnett & Company Inc. bought a new stake in shares of PPL in the fourth quarter worth $25,000. Kings Point Capital Management bought a new stake in shares of PPL in the second quarter worth $28,000. Venturi Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of PPL in the third quarter worth $35,000. Finally, Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of PPL in the second quarter worth $38,000. 70.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

PPL Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for PPL (NYSE:PPL)

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