Short Interest in PPL Corp (PPL) Drops By 9.1%
PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) was the target of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 42,703,513 shares, a decrease of 9.1% from the January 15th total of 46,971,876 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 4,520,732 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 9.4 days. Approximately 5.9% of the company’s shares are sold short.
Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. ValuEngine raised PPL from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised PPL from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 target price on shares of PPL in a report on Wednesday. Evercore ISI downgraded PPL from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating in a report on Thursday, February 7th. Finally, Bank of America downgraded PPL from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $29.00 to $28.00 in a report on Monday, January 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. PPL presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $34.33.
Shares of PPL stock opened at $30.46 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 0.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.69, a current ratio of 0.58 and a quick ratio of 0.51. PPL has a 1 year low of $25.30 and a 1 year high of $32.46.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 1st. Investors of record on Friday, March 8th will be paid a $0.4125 dividend. This is an increase from PPL’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. This represents a $1.65 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 7th. PPL’s dividend payout ratio is currently 72.89%.
In other news, Chairman Paul W. Thompson sold 4,573 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.25, for a total transaction of $129,187.25. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 7,419 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $209,586.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Joanne H. Raphael sold 22,410 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.00, for a total value of $694,710.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 39,209 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,215,479. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 54,042 shares of company stock valued at $1,635,805. 0.38% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PPL. FMR LLC lifted its stake in PPL by 89.2% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 47,276,571 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,349,747,000 after acquiring an additional 22,285,268 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in PPL by 58.2% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 17,289,874 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $505,902,000 after acquiring an additional 6,361,091 shares in the last quarter. 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 worth $1,763,201,000 after acquiring an additional 3,475,992 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in PPL by 106.1% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 5,081,144 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $148,655,000 after acquiring an additional 2,615,544 shares in the last quarter. Finally, 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 worth $76,000 after acquiring an additional 2,085,687 shares in the last quarter. 76.08% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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