PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) was the target of a significant growth in short interest during the month of May. As of May 15th, there was short interest totalling 50,189,351 shares, a growth of 179.0% from the April 30th total of 17,988,914 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 8,428,664 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 6.0 days. Approximately 7.2% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Several research analysts have issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on PPL from $29.00 to $28.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. UBS Group decreased their price objective on PPL from $37.00 to $34.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 8th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded PPL from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 5th. ValuEngine downgraded PPL from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 17th. Finally, Evercore ISI raised PPL from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 9th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $36.14.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of PPL. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. bought a new position in shares of PPL in the 1st quarter worth $120,000. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of PPL in the 4th quarter worth $124,000. Crewe Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of PPL in the 4th quarter worth $133,000. Smithfield Trust Co. increased its position in PPL by 131.1% during the 1st quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 4,958 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $141,000 after buying an additional 2,813 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Calton & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in PPL during the 4th quarter valued at about $156,000. 71.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of PPL stock traded up $0.95 on Thursday, reaching $27.07. The company had a trading volume of 11,604,268 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,167,185. PPL has a 1 year low of $25.30 and a 1 year high of $39.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.81, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a current ratio of 0.59. The stock has a market cap of $17.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.52.

PPL (NYSE:PPL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.09 billion. PPL had a return on equity of 15.24% and a net margin of 15.44%. PPL’s revenue was up 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.62 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that PPL will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 8th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 7th. PPL’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 72.89%.

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 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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