PPL (PPL) Downgraded by Bank of America to “Underperform”

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PPL (NYSE:PPL) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Bank of America from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They presently have a $28.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock, down from their previous price target of $29.00. Bank of America‘s price objective would indicate a potential downside of 3.51% from the company’s current price.

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of PPL from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price target on shares of PPL from $32.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, September 17th. ValuEngine raised shares of PPL from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 21st. Finally, Desjardins reaffirmed an “average” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of PPL in a research note on Monday, January 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.75.

Shares of PPL stock traded down $0.48 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $29.02. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 67,516 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,769,291. PPL has a 12-month low of $25.30 and a 12-month high of $32.46. The company has a current ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.69. The company has a market cap of $21.09 billion, a PE ratio of 12.88, a P/E/G ratio of 2.40 and a beta of 0.46.

PPL (NYSE:PPL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.59 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.03. PPL had a net margin of 19.17% and a return on equity of 15.23%. The business had revenue of $1.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.98 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.56 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that PPL will post 2.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Joanne H. Raphael sold 22,410 shares of PPL stock in a transaction on Friday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.00, for a total transaction of $694,710.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 39,209 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,215,479. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Paul W. Thompson sold 4,573 shares of PPL stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.25, for a total transaction of $129,187.25. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 7,419 shares in the company, valued at approximately $209,586.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 31,556 shares of company stock worth $953,085 in the last ninety days. 0.38% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Arlington Partners LLC acquired a new position in PPL during the 4th quarter worth $28,000. Sound Income Strategies LLC grew its holdings in PPL by 623.7% during the 4th quarter. Sound Income Strategies LLC now owns 3,481 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $99,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new position in PPL during the 3rd quarter worth $124,000. Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in PPL during the 3rd quarter worth $153,000. Finally, North Star Investment Management Corp. grew its holdings in PPL by 88.2% during the 4th quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 6,403 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $181,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. 75.97% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

PPL Company Profile

PPL Corporation, a utility holding company, delivers electricity and natural gas in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company operates in three segments: U.K. Regulated, Kentucky Regulated, and Pennsylvania Regulated. It serves 411,000 electric and 326,000 natural gas customers in Louisville and adjacent areas in Kentucky; 525,000 customers in central, southeastern, and western Kentucky; and approximately 28,000 customers in 5 counties in southwestern Virginia, and 3 customers in Tennessee.

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