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

According to Zacks, “Shares of PPL Corp. have returned lower than the industry in the last six months. We believe 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. The expected drop in contribution from U.K. regulated segment is going to hurt near term earnings.  However, PPL Corp. is poised to gain from its capital investment plan, which 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 operations.”

PPL has been the subject of several other reports. SunTrust Banks, Inc. assumed coverage on PPL Corporation in a research report on Tuesday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $43.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine raised PPL Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded PPL Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their target price for the company from $35.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Jefferies Group LLC upgraded PPL Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the company from $39.50 to $42.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded PPL Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. PPL Corporation presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.35.

PPL Corporation (NYSE PPL) traded down 0.29% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $38.26. The company had a trading volume of 198,832 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $38.68 and a 200 day moving average price of $38.56. The company has a market capitalization of $26.24 billion, a PE ratio of 16.02 and a beta of 0.49. PPL Corporation has a 12-month low of $32.46 and a 12-month high of $40.20.

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.02. PPL Corporation had a return on equity of 15.96% and a net margin of 22.08%. The firm had revenue of $1.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.79 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.56 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that PPL Corporation will post $2.16 EPS for the current year.

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In other PPL Corporation news, VP Joseph P. Bergstein, Jr. sold 2,929 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.55, for a total transaction of $112,912.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Joanne H. Raphael sold 35,651 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.50, for a total transaction of $1,408,214.50. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 52,450 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,071,775. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 47,163 shares of company stock worth $1,855,864 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Curbstone Financial Management Corp raised its holdings in PPL Corporation by 100.0% during the 3rd quarter. Curbstone Financial Management Corp now owns 17,572 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $667,000 after acquiring an additional 8,786 shares during the period. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC increased its holdings in shares of PPL Corporation by 0.3% in the second quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 2,435,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $94,168,000 after purchasing an additional 7,000 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its holdings in shares of PPL Corporation by 84.1% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 61,838 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,391,000 after purchasing an additional 28,249 shares during the period. Sterling Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of PPL Corporation by 532.3% in the second quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 231,485 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,949,000 after purchasing an additional 194,875 shares during the period. Finally, Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of PPL Corporation by 2.1% in the second quarter. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC now owns 10,085 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $390,000 after purchasing an additional 205 shares during the period. 71.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

PPL Corporation Company Profile

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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