PPL Co. (PPL) Short Interest Update

PPL Co. (NYSE:PPL) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 22,916,680 shares, an increase of 25.5% from the February 28th total of 18,260,672 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 7,753,806 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.0 days. Approximately 3.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In other PPL news, insider Gregory N. Dudkin sold 2,378 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.19, for a total value of $69,413.82. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 23,562 shares in the company, valued at $687,774.78. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Gregory N. Dudkin sold 9,320 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.67, for a total transaction of $295,164.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 25,940 shares in the company, valued at $821,519.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 52,978 shares of company stock worth $1,652,939. 0.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp increased its holdings in shares of PPL by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 260,868 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,074,000 after purchasing an additional 14,288 shares during the period. OLD Republic International Corp increased its holdings in shares of PPL by 25.7% in the 4th quarter. OLD Republic International Corp now owns 1,061,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $32,838,000 after purchasing an additional 217,000 shares during the period. Sawtooth Solutions LLC increased its holdings in shares of PPL by 346.7% in the 4th quarter. Sawtooth Solutions LLC now owns 53,809 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,665,000 after purchasing an additional 41,764 shares during the period. Schafer Cullen Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of PPL by 13.2% in the 4th quarter. Schafer Cullen Capital Management Inc. now owns 677,990 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $20,984,000 after purchasing an additional 78,971 shares during the period. Finally, Cullen Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of PPL by 47.2% in the 4th quarter. Cullen Capital Management LLC now owns 150,040 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,644,000 after purchasing an additional 48,140 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 71.46% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of PPL from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $39.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Macquarie cut shares of PPL from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $30.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. TheStreet downgraded PPL from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Deutsche Bank upgraded PPL from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $39.00 to $36.00 in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and set a $39.00 price objective on shares of PPL in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. PPL has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $37.50.

NYSE PPL opened at $28.29 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.57. The stock has a market cap of $19,634.67, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.57, a P/E/G ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.54. PPL has a 1 year low of $27.08 and a 1 year high of $40.20.

PPL (NYSE:PPL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $1.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.03 billion. PPL had a return on equity of 14.75% and a net margin of 15.15%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.60 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that PPL will post 2.32 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. This is an increase from PPL’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 8th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.80%. PPL’s dividend payout ratio is currently 72.89%.

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About PPL

PPL Corporation, a utility holding company, delivers electricity and natural gas in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company operates in three segments: U.K. Regulated, Kentucky Regulated, and Pennsylvania Regulated. It serves 411,000 electric and 326,000 natural gas customers in Louisville and adjacent areas in Kentucky; 525,000 customers in central, southeastern, and western Kentucky; and approximately 28,000 customers in 5 counties in southwestern Virginia, and 3 customers in Tennessee.

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