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Integrated energy firm
PPL (PPL - Get Report) is benefiting from rising analyst sentiment this week as well. The $17 billion name owns 11,200 megawatts of power generation capacity, and regulated utility businesses here at home as well as in the UK.
Income investors take note: PPL currently pays out a hefty 4.9% yield.
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PPL has been focusing on a risk-off approach to the energy business in the last few years. For starters, it's been acquiring new regulated utility names, dropping its merchant generation business from the biggest earner to a much smaller piece of the corporate puzzle. Ultimately, that's a good move for PPL -- merchant generation is a riskier business that's more beholden to commodity price swings than its regulated arm. And dividend-seekers should find solace in the fact that PPL is focusing on highly-predictable regulated revenues.
That's not to say that generation will disappear from PPL's income statement. With an attractive portfolio of generation assets (that are skewed towards attractive, low-cost fuels), generation should be a nice "extra" business that won't derail its ability to pay a dividend if the unexpected happens. While an aggressive CapEx plan has meant that PPL's debt has been increasing, the firm should be able to service its debt while at least maintaining its dividend payout right now.