PPL is a utility stock that owns 11,200 megawatts of generation capacity, and provides regulated utility service to electricity customers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and the UK. PPL also distributes natural gas to Kentucky. Just a few years ago PPL was primarily a generation firm, earning three-fourths of its profits by selling power on the open market. Today, though, the firm has shifted its strategy towards the stable income of the regulated utility business.Stable, predictable income is the hallmark of a stellar dividend stock, and PPL has managed to pick up its regulated exposure while still keeping its uniqueness. A big differentiator for PPL is its energy distribution unit in the UK -- that expertise in a foreign market should open the door to other overseas utility operations if attractive opportunities present themselves down the road. Dividend growth at PPL is likely to cool in the next couple of years as the firm dumps considerable CapEx into upgrading its infrastructure. That's actually a good thing for dividend investors because it means that PPL's dividend prospects are going to be artificially held down in the near-term. With the firm's payout already at 4.87%, investors shouldn't have any trouble waiting a while for the next hike. To see these dividend plays in action, check out the at Dividend Stocks for the Week portfolio on Stockpickr. And if you haven't already done so, join Stockpickr today to create your own dividend portfolio. -- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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