Trading Report: Today, PPL Corp. (PPL) Upgrade to Buy at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, PPL Corp. (PPL) Upgrade to Buy at The Zacks Investment Research

PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The firm presently has a $37.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target suggests a potential upside of 12.77% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “PPL Corporation’s diverse asset portfolio and business model allow it to perform in and adapt to different market conditions. PPL Corp.’s capital investment plan primarily focuses on infrastructure construction projects for generation, transmission and distribution. The company projects total capital expenditure of approximately $15.4 billion in the 2016–2020 timeframe.The affirmation of the 2016 earnings guidance confirms management’s positive stance. In light of the fluctuating currency, PPL Corp. has reestablished its hedge levels to shield itself from any near-term decline in the GBP. Nevertheless, volatile commodity prices and regulatory risks pose challenges to PPL Corporation’s growth. PPL Corp.’s operations are also subject to service disruptions in form of breakdown of equipment, natural calamities and sudden outages.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on PPL. Argus decreased their price objective on PPL Corp. from $45.00 to $41.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $37.00 price objective on shares of PPL Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, October 25th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of PPL Corp. in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Bank of America Corp. cut PPL Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $32.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Guggenheim cut PPL Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $37.71.

PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL) traded up 1.55% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $33.32. The stock had a trading volume of 1,769,265 shares. PPL Corp. has a 52 week low of $32.08 and a 52 week high of $39.92. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $33.32 and a 200-day moving average of $35.95. The firm has a market cap of $22.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.38 and a beta of 0.41.

PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.05. The company earned $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.04 billion. PPL Corp. had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 24.59%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.51 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that PPL Corp. will post $2.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 9th will be given a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 7th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.63%. PPL Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 56.30%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY boosted its position in PPL Corp. by 1.8% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 3,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 55 shares in the last quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. boosted its position in PPL Corp. by 25.2% in the third quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 3,480 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC boosted its position in PPL Corp. by 0.3% in the third quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 4,054 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI boosted its position in PPL Corp. by 4.2% in the second quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI now owns 3,823 shares of the company’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 153 shares in the last quarter. Finally, People s United Financial Inc. boosted its position in PPL Corp. by 100.0% in the third quarter. People s United Financial Inc. now owns 4,455 shares of the company’s stock valued at $154,000 after buying an additional 2,227 shares in the last quarter. 68.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About PPL Corp.

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. It operates through three segments: U.K.

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