PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of PPL Corp. have gained higher than the industry in the last 12 months. Its second-quarter earnings per share were better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate but total revenues were lower than the same. PPL Corp’s capital investment plan 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.”

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on PPL. BidaskClub raised shares of PPL Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $43.50 price objective (up previously from $42.00) on shares of PPL Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) raised shares of PPL Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $35.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $38.94.

PPL Corporation (PPL) opened at 39.50 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $27.09 billion, a PE ratio of 16.53 and a beta of 0.49. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $38.45 and its 200-day moving average is $38.01. PPL Corporation has a 52 week low of $32.08 and a 52 week high of $40.20.

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.02. PPL Corporation had a net margin of 22.08% and a return on equity of 15.96%. The business had revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.56 EPS. PPL Corporation’s quarterly revenue was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that PPL Corporation will post $2.15 EPS for the current year.

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In other PPL Corporation news, VP Joseph P. Bergstein, Jr. sold 2,929 shares of PPL Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.55, for a total value of $112,912.95. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Gregory N. Dudkin sold 8,228 shares of PPL Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the insider now directly owns 39,693 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,569,858.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 19,740 shares of company stock worth $773,067. Insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC raised its position in shares of PPL Corporation by 0.3% in the second quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 2,435,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $94,168,000 after buying an additional 7,000 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in shares of PPL Corporation by 84.1% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 61,838 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,391,000 after buying an additional 28,249 shares during the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of PPL Corporation by 532.3% in the second quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 231,485 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,949,000 after buying an additional 194,875 shares during the last quarter. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of PPL Corporation by 2.1% in the second quarter. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC now owns 10,085 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $390,000 after buying an additional 205 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of PPL Corporation by 2.5% in the second quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 22,820 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $882,000 after buying an additional 556 shares during the last quarter. 71.00% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

PPL Corporation Company Profile

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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