PPL Corporation (PPL) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of PPL Corp. have gained higher than the industry in the last 12 months. PPL Corp. is poised to gain from its capital investment plan, which 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 2017-2020 time period, thanks to the contribution from its domestic and U.K. operations. However, environmental regulatory risks pose challenges to PPL Corp.’s growth. The company’s operations are also subject to service disruptions in the form of breakdown of equipment. Unfavorable weather in Kentucky is also adversely impacting earnings.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group LLC restated a buy rating and issued a $43.50 price target (up previously from $42.00) on shares of PPL Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of PPL Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded shares of PPL Corporation from a sell rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price target for the company from $35.00 to $38.00 in a report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of PPL Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $38.94.

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) traded down 1.23% during trading on Monday, reaching $39.34. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 501,802 shares. PPL Corporation has a 52 week low of $32.08 and a 52 week high of $40.20. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $38.90 and a 200 day moving average of $38.33. The stock has a market capitalization of $26.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.47 and a beta of 0.49.

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.02. PPL Corporation had a return on equity of 15.96% and a net margin of 22.08%. The firm had revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.79 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.56 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that PPL Corporation will post $2.16 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a $0.395 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $1.58 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.97%. PPL Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 66.11%.

In other news, insider Gregory N. Dudkin sold 8,228 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.55, for a total transaction of $325,417.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 39,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,569,858.15. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Joanne H. Raphael sold 35,651 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.50, for a total transaction of $1,408,214.50. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 52,450 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,071,775. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 55,391 shares of company stock worth $2,181,282. Company insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC grew its position in PPL Corporation by 0.4% in the first quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 4,084 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $153,000 after purchasing an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its stake in PPL Corporation by 6.1% in the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 4,249 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $161,000 after acquiring an additional 243 shares during the last quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc lifted its stake in PPL Corporation by 352.0% in the first quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc now owns 4,366 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $163,000 after acquiring an additional 3,400 shares during the last quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in PPL Corporation by 0.9% in the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 4,434 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $165,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Assetmark Inc. lifted its stake in PPL Corporation by 11.3% in the first quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 4,933 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $184,000 after acquiring an additional 499 shares during the last quarter. 70.95% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About PPL Corporation

PPL Corporation (PPL) is a utility holding company. Through its subsidiaries, PPL delivers electricity to customers in the United Kingdom, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee; delivers natural gas to customers in Kentucky, and generates electricity from power plants in Kentucky. PPL operates through U.K.

Analyst Recommendations for PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL)

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