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 notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $670.00 million or 1.36% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, PPL CORP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 4.97%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 13.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 25.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for PPL CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.50%. 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 11.48% 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 operates in four segments: Kentucky Regulated, U.K. PPL has a market cap of $19.0 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.00, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are up 13.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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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