Zacks Investment Research cut shares of PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released 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.”

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on PPL. ValuEngine upgraded PPL Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub downgraded PPL Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded PPL Corporation from a sell rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $35.00 to $38.00 in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $43.50 price objective (up from $42.00) on shares of PPL Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $38.94.

PPL Corporation (PPL) opened at 38.82 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $38.94 and a 200 day moving average price of $38.35. The stock has a market capitalization of $26.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.25 and a beta of 0.49. PPL Corporation has a 1-year low of $32.08 and a 1-year high of $40.20.

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $1.73 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.79 billion. PPL Corporation had a return on equity of 15.96% and a net margin of 22.08%. The business’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.56 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict 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. Investors of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.395 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $1.58 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.07%. PPL Corporation’s payout ratio is 66.11%.

In related news, VP Joseph P. Bergstein, Jr. sold 2,929 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.55, for a total transaction of $112,912.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Gregory N. Dudkin sold 8,228 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.55, for a total value of $325,417.40. Following the sale, 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 three months, insiders have sold 55,391 shares of company stock worth $2,181,282. 0.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC raised its holdings in PPL Corporation by 0.4% during the first quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 4,084 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $153,000 after purchasing an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC raised its holdings in PPL Corporation by 6.1% during the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 4,249 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $161,000 after purchasing an additional 243 shares in the last quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc raised its holdings in PPL Corporation by 352.0% during the first quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc now owns 4,366 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $163,000 after purchasing an additional 3,400 shares in the last quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in PPL Corporation by 0.9% during the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 4,434 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $165,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Assetmark Inc. raised its holdings in PPL Corporation by 11.3% during the first quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 4,933 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $184,000 after purchasing an additional 499 shares in the last quarter. 70.95% 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.

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