PPL Corp (PPL): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

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.

PPL ( PPL) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, PPL rose 43 cents (1.5%) to $28.73 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 7.8 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $28.37-$29.15 after having opened the day at $28.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.30. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Ellomay Capital ( ELLO), up 14.9% and U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), up 9.3%.
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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. PPL has a market cap of $16.73 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), down 10.7%, GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 8.8%, Active Power ( ACPW), down 6%, and Energy Company of Minas Gerais ( CIG), down 5.3%, were all laggards within the utilities sector with Edison International ( EIX) being today's utilities sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the utilities sector could consider Utilities Select Sector SPDR ( XLU) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider ProShares UltraShort Utilities ( SDP).

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