PPL Corp Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (PPL)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- PPL (NYSE: PPL) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A- . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PPL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Electric Utilities industry and the overall market, PPL CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 38.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $196.00 million to $271.00 million.
  • PPL CORP has improved earnings per share by 34.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PPL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.71 versus $2.15 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 13.4% in earnings ($2.35 versus $2.71).
  • The gross profit margin for PPL CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.20%. Regardless of PPL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PPL's net profit margin of 10.60% compares favorably to the industry average.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. PPL has a market cap of $16.82 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. Shares are down 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full PPL Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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