Encompass Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in PPL Co. (NYSE:PPL) in the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor acquired 1,981 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $56,000.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Perigon Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of PPL in the 4th quarter valued at about $27,000. Jeppson Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of PPL in the 3rd quarter valued at about $30,000. Private Capital Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of PPL by 94.3% in the 4th quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,059 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 514 shares in the last quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of PPL by 88.3% in the 4th quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,164 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 546 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TD Ameritrade Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of PPL in the 4th quarter valued at about $32,000. Institutional investors own 67.15% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Joanne H. Raphael sold 4,589 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.12, for a total transaction of $129,042.68. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 53,313 shares in the company, valued at $1,499,161.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Vincent Sorgi sold 26,561 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.64, for a total transaction of $734,146.04. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 53,983 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,492,090.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 35,897 shares of company stock worth $996,674 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms recently commented on PPL. Stifel Nicolaus cut PPL to a “market perform” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $36.00 to $34.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 15th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on PPL from $40.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 27th. Mizuho lifted their price target on PPL from $29.50 to $30.00 in a report on Friday, March 19th. BMO Capital Markets cut PPL to a “market perform” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $36.00 to $34.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 15th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on PPL from $34.00 to $32.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 15th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. PPL currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $34.18.

NYSE PPL opened at $29.00 on Thursday. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $28.15 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $28.11. The stock has a market cap of $22.30 billion, a PE ratio of 14.36 and a beta of 0.72. PPL Co. has a fifty-two week low of $23.71 and a fifty-two week high of $30.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a current ratio of 0.50.

PPL (NYSE:PPL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 17th. The utilities provider reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.61 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $1.93 billion for the quarter. PPL had a return on equity of 13.76% and a net margin of 21.93%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.57 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that PPL Co. will post 2.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 10th were given a dividend of $0.415 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 9th. This represents a $1.66 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.72%. PPL’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 67.76%.

About 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 418,000 electric and 329,000 natural gas customers in Louisville and adjacent areas in Kentucky; 530,000 electric customers in central, southeastern, and western Kentucky; and 28,000 electric customers in 5 counties in southwestern Virginia.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for PPL (NYSE:PPL)

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