PPL (NYSE:PPL) Sets New 1-Year High at $35.40

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PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) shares hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $35.40 and last traded at $35.07, with a volume of 410839 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $33.60.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on PPL shares. Macquarie raised shares of PPL from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $27.00 to $32.50 in a report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of PPL from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $34.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 15th. Morgan Stanley set a $30.00 price objective on shares of PPL and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 16th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of PPL from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. PPL currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $36.41.

The company has a current ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.65 and a beta of 0.49. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $33.73 and a 200 day moving average price of $31.36.

PPL (NYSE:PPL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 5th. The utilities provider reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $1.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.04 billion. PPL had a return on equity of 14.73% and a net margin of 23.17%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.59 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that PPL Corp will post 2.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 10th will be given a $0.4125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 9th. This represents a $1.65 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.69%. PPL’s dividend payout ratio is presently 68.75%.

In related news, EVP Joanne H. Raphael sold 21,288 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.91, for a total value of $679,300.08. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 46,857 shares in the company, valued at $1,495,206.87. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO William H. Spence sold 388,968 shares of the firm’s 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. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 1,026,972 shares of company stock valued at $34,615,714. 0.34% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Tiedemann Advisors LLC increased its stake in PPL by 13.1% in the third quarter. Tiedemann Advisors LLC now owns 228,687 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,288,000 after purchasing an additional 26,548 shares during the period. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC increased its stake in PPL by 0.9% in the second quarter. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC now owns 39,673 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,230,000 after purchasing an additional 350 shares during the period. Stephens Inc. AR increased its stake in shares of PPL by 4.8% during the third quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 175,409 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,524,000 after buying an additional 8,102 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of PPL by 1.2% during the second quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 842,456 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $26,126,000 after buying an additional 9,902 shares during the period. Finally, Nomura Holdings Inc. increased its stake in shares of PPL by 1,052.9% during the third quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 137,479 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,304,000 after buying an additional 125,554 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 70.67% of the company’s stock.

About PPL (NYSE: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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