National Grid Transco, PLC (NYSE: NGG) and PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) are both large-cap utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, risk, valuation and profitability.

Dividends

National Grid Transco, PLC pays an annual dividend of $2.89 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.6%. PPL Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.58 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.1%. PPL Corporation pays out 66.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. PPL Corporation has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for National Grid Transco, PLC and PPL Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National Grid Transco, PLC 2 6 7 0 2.33
PPL Corporation 0 5 3 0 2.38

National Grid Transco, PLC currently has a consensus price target of $69.00, suggesting a potential upside of 9.73%. PPL Corporation has a consensus price target of $38.36, suggesting a potential downside of 0.35%. Given National Grid Transco, PLC’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe National Grid Transco, PLC is more favorable than PPL Corporation.

Volatility and Risk

National Grid Transco, PLC has a beta of 0.45, meaning that its share price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, PPL Corporation has a beta of 0.49, meaning that its share price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares National Grid Transco, PLC and PPL Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
National Grid Transco, PLC $19.86 billion 2.18 $6.72 billion N/A N/A
PPL Corporation $7.40 billion 3.57 $4.04 billion $2.39 16.10

National Grid Transco, PLC has higher revenue and earnings than PPL Corporation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

5.7% of National Grid Transco, PLC shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.1% of PPL Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of PPL Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares National Grid Transco, PLC and PPL Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National Grid Transco, PLC N/A N/A N/A
PPL Corporation 22.08% 15.96% 4.16%

Summary

PPL Corporation beats National Grid Transco, PLC on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About National Grid Transco, PLC

National Grid plc is an electricity and gas utility company focused on transmission and distribution activities in electricity and gas in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The Company’s segments include UK Electricity Transmission, which is engaged in high voltage electricity transmission networks in Great Britain; UK Gas Transmission, which is the gas transmission network in Great Britain and United Kingdom liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage activities; UK Gas Distribution, which includes approximately four of the eight regional networks of Great Britain’s gas distribution system, and US Regulated, which includes gas distribution networks, electricity distribution networks and high voltage electricity transmission networks in New York, and New England and electricity generation facilities in New York. Its other activities relate to non-regulated businesses and other commercial operations not included within the above segments.

About PPL Corporation

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. Regulated Segment, Kentucky Regulated Segment and Pennsylvania Regulated Segment. The U.K. Regulated Segment consists of PPL Global, which includes PPL WPD Limited’s (WPD) regulated electricity distribution operations, the results of hedging the translation of WPD’s earnings from British pound sterling into United States dollars, and certain costs, such as the United States income taxes, administrative costs and allocated financing costs. Kentucky Regulated segment consists of the operations of Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and KU Energy LLC (LKE). The Pennsylvania Regulated segment consists of PPL Electric Utilities Corporation (PPL Electric).

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