PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Investors bought 5,379 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,863% compared to the typical volume of 274 put options.
NYSE:PPL traded up $0.34 on Friday, hitting $31.45. 3,104,624 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,599,178. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.49 billion, a PE ratio of 13.10 and a beta of 0.52. PPL has a 52 week low of $26.85 and a 52 week high of $32.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.60 and a quick ratio of 0.53.
PPL (NYSE:PPL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.73 by ($0.03). PPL had a return on equity of 14.52% and a net margin of 23.79%. The firm had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.19 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.74 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that PPL will post 2.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
PPL has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada lowered shares of PPL from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $32.00 to $33.00 in a report on Friday, March 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group lowered their price target on shares of PPL from $37.00 to $36.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, May 17th. Raymond James reissued an “average” rating on shares of PPL in a report on Monday, May 6th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of PPL from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, March 14th. Finally, Mizuho began coverage on shares of PPL in a report on Monday, June 3rd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $30.00 target price for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $33.90.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of PPL during the 4th quarter worth approximately $152,444,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in PPL by 5.9% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,237,939 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,763,201,000 after purchasing an additional 3,475,992 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its stake in PPL by 2,749.2% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 2,161,551 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $76,000 after purchasing an additional 2,085,687 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its position in PPL by 96.7% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,130,706 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $120,864,000 after acquiring an additional 2,030,363 shares during the period. Finally, MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd acquired a new position in PPL in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $43,537,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.91% of the company’s stock.
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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