Zacks
0
All posts from Zacks
Zacks in Our Research. Your Success.,

PPL Corp Hit by Warm Weather; Investments to Spur Growth

On May 9, 2016, we have issued an updated research report on PPL Corporation PPL, a diversified utility holding company with a presence in both the U.S. and the UK. PPL Corp.’s businesses are sensitive to commodity prices and weather fluctuations. Nevertheless, its disciplined capital investment program, stable financial position and customer-centric strategies are expected to offset these headwinds.

PPL Corporation’s first-quarter 2016 performance was softer than expected, with both earnings and revenues lagging the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. Sales were hurt by unseasonably warm weather in the company’s service territories.

On the bright side, PPL Corporation continues to follow an organic growth strategy to expand and upgrade its utility systems in order to enhance service reliability as well as to attract new customers and retain existing ones. The company has plans to make capital investment of $16 billion during the 2016–2020 time frame, comprising nearly $3.2–$3.3 billion annually. Such customer-centric strategies undertaken by the company will allow it to achieve annual earnings growth of 5–6% through 2018, off a 2014 base.

We remind investors that favorable rate case outcomes in Pennsylvania and Kentucky are also expected to accelerate bottom-line growth throughout the year and generate substantial revenues, going forward.

On the other hand, PPL Corp. generates a substantial portion of electricity from coal-fired facilities. Its dependence on coal facilities remains a major concern for the company as it has to invest substantially in low-emission facilities to meet regulatory mandates, which may put margins under pressure. In fact, to comply with the EPA's new Coal Combustion Residuals rule, the company expects to begin investing in environmental improvements in the second half of 2016, which will continue through 2023.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

PPL Corporation currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

A few other well placed stocks in the utility-electric power space include Avangrid, Inc. AGR Spark Energy, Inc. SPKE and Avista Corporation AVA. While both Avangrid and Spark Energy sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Avista Corporation carries the same rank as PPL Corp.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
PPL CORP (PPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AVISTA CORP (AVA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SPARK ENERGY (SPKE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AVANGRID INC (AGR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research