PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of PPL Corp. have gained higher than the industry in the last 12 months. Its second-quarter earnings per share were better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate but total revenues were lower than the same. PPL Corp’s capital investment plan 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.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of PPL Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $43.50 target price (up previously from $42.00) on shares of PPL Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) raised shares of PPL Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $35.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $38.72.

PPL Corporation (PPL) traded up 1.23% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $39.52. 3,034,304 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $27.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.54 and a beta of 0.49. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $38.38 and its 200-day moving average is $37.99. PPL Corporation has a 12 month low of $32.08 and a 12 month high of $40.20.

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.02. PPL Corporation had a net margin of 22.08% and a return on equity of 15.96%. The firm had revenue of $1.73 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.79 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.56 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that PPL Corporation will post $2.15 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, VP Joseph P. Bergstein, Jr. sold 2,929 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.55, for a total transaction of $112,912.95. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Vincent Sorgi sold 5,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.00, for a total transaction of $218,400.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 97 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,783. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 19,740 shares of company stock valued at $773,067. Corporate insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of PPL. Valley National Advisers Inc. increased its position in PPL Corporation by 3.2% in the first quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 57,783 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,161,000 after buying an additional 1,795 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of PPL Corporation by 3.3% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 13,543 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $506,000 after buying an additional 429 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia boosted its stake in shares of PPL Corporation by 924.3% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 156,210 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,840,000 after buying an additional 140,960 shares during the last quarter. BB&T Corp boosted its stake in shares of PPL Corporation by 4.3% in the second quarter. BB&T Corp now owns 185,257 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,163,000 after buying an additional 7,636 shares during the last quarter. Finally, OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of PPL Corporation by 53.6% in the first quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 18,129 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $678,000 after buying an additional 6,329 shares during the last quarter. 71.00% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

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