Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. increased its stake in shares of PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) by 7.5% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 19,177 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,330 shares during the quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD.’s holdings in PPL were worth $609,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Keystone Financial Group grew its stake in PPL by 41.9% during the 1st quarter. Keystone Financial Group now owns 11,210 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $356,000 after purchasing an additional 3,312 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD raised its stake in PPL by 78.9% during the 1st quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 84,060 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,668,000 after acquiring an additional 37,078 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James & Associates raised its stake in PPL by 6.8% during the 1st quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 2,883,008 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $91,507,000 after acquiring an additional 184,424 shares during the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of PPL by 136.4% during the 1st quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 329,595 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $10,459,000 after buying an additional 190,176 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its stake in shares of PPL by 384.3% during the 1st quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 46,401 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,473,000 after buying an additional 36,820 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.95% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Chairman William H. Spence sold 225,365 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.50, for a total value of $7,324,362.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.
PPL (NYSE:PPL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.19 billion. PPL had a return on equity of 14.52% and a net margin of 23.79%. The firm’s revenue was down 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.74 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that PPL Corp will post 2.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Investors of record on Monday, June 10th will be paid a $0.4125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 7th. This represents a $1.65 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.53%. PPL’s payout ratio is currently 68.75%.
A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on PPL shares. Raymond James restated an “average” rating on shares of PPL in a report on Monday, May 6th. UBS Group decreased their price objective on PPL from $37.00 to $36.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, May 17th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 target price on shares of PPL in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. Evercore ISI lowered PPL from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lowered PPL from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $33.00 in a research report on Friday, March 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. PPL presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.56.
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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 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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