Wed, Jan. 28, 7:15 PM
- Merrill Lynch makes the case in a new report that many fundamentals still favor keeping a position in the utilities sector even after a period of gains, and 24/7 Wall Street screened for the firm's top five Buy-rated utilities with the highest yields.
- The list is headed by Edison International (NYSE:EIX), which makes Merrill's US 1 list; EIX raised the quarterly dividend paid to shareholders by 17.6% back in December, signaling a strong commitment to investors.
- Dominion Resources (NYSE:D) is expected to grow its dividend by 7% this year, in line with the past four; the report says many Wall Street analysts believe new EPA regulations actually could provide a boost for the company.
- Also named: AES, PPL, UIL.
Sat, Jan. 24, 8:25 AM
- In a low-yield world, the newly launched iBillionaire High Dividend Index - which tracks the trading moves of 25 investing-savvy billionaire investors such as Stanley Druckenmiller, James Dinan and Nelson Peltz - actually lives up to its name with a dividend yield of 5.34%.
- At 24%, the index has a high allocation of energy shares, including OXY, TRP, CNP, COP, BP, ATLS, CVI, WMB, APL, RIG and ARP.
- Also worth noting is that the index contains some high-yielding mortgage REITs, an area most investors hate right now but where billionaires seem to find value; examples are NRF, AGNC and CIM.
- No mutual fund or ETF tracks this index, but it offers a fishing pond of income investment ideas to research further.
- The top 20 holdings: TLM, CVC, GM, TIME, AEE, D, STAY, KMI, TROX, EXC, STNG, PPL, IRM, PFE, KKR, KAR, F, MIC, LO, ABBV.
Mon, Jan. 5, 11:58 AM
- PPL Corp. (PPL -1.8%) is downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $37 price target, down from $39, at Jefferies, which cites lower assumed earnings power at the company's U.K. businesses.
- Due to the strong U.S. dollar and the loss of incentive revenues as the company's rates are reset in the new rate plan, the firm says it is lowering its 2016-17 earnings estimates.
- Jefferies believes PPL shares already include the upside from the proposed spinoff of Talen Energy.
Nov. 26, 2014, 12:42 PM
- A new report from BofA Merrill Lynch stays positive on the top utility stocks for the rest of the year and 2015, offering five recommendations for utilities paying high current dividends and expected to raise dividends significantly over the coming years.
- The firm sees Dominion Resources (NYSE:D), which currently pays a 3.3% dividend, growing its dividend 7% this year, in line with the last four; many analysts think the new EPA bill may actually provide a tailwind for the company.
- Also suggested: AEP, PCG, UIL, PPL
Nov. 21, 2014, 1:37 PM
Nov. 12, 2014, 2:14 PM
- Utility stocks, among the year’s top performing sectors in the market, are sharply lower today - a bad sign, says Weeden & Co. head researcher Michael Purves, who believes now is the time to reduce or hedge utility holdings such as the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU -1.9%).
- Ultra-low bond yields have made utility stock payouts look good by comparison., but valuations have been moving up; Purves says the rally has put XLU’s P/E ratio for the next 12 months at 17.4x, near a 10-year high.
- Investors ought to “start to take profits, given the run was getting long in the teeth,” Purves writes.
- The top 10 XLU holdings are all lower today: DUK -2.5%, NEE -1.7%, D -1.9%, SO -1.4%, EXC -2.8%, AEP -2%, SRE -1.7%, PPL -1.8%, PCG -1%, PEG -2.8%.
- Other ETFs: IDU, VPU, UPW, RYU, FUTY, FXU, PUI, SDP
Nov. 4, 2014, 7:01 AM
Sep. 12, 2014, 9:11 AM
- PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL) welcomes yesterday's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that a New Jersey law promoting construction of new power plants by subsidizing development of new generation in the state is invalid because it oversteps the state's regulatory authority.
- The judges ruled that the federal government has exclusive control over interstate rates for capacity payments to electric power generators, upholding a decision in a lawsuit filed by PPL EnergyPlus and other competitive electricity suppliers after the legislation was enacted in 2011.
Sep. 4, 2014, 6:55 PM
- PPL Corp.'s (NYSE:PPL) says its agreement to sell its hydroelectric facilities to NorthWestern Energy (NYSE:NWE) cleared a major milestone when the Montana Public Service Commission voted to prepare an order approving NWE's request to purchase the facilities.
- The $900M deal includes PPL Montana's 11 hydroelectric power plants, which have a combined generating capacity of more than 630 MW, as well as the company's Hebgen Lake reservoir.
Aug. 22, 2014, 12:06 PM
Jul. 31, 2014, 8:58 AM
- PPL Corp.'s (NYSE:PPL) Q2 earnings and revenues easily beat Wall Street estimates despite substantial Y/Y declines in both.
- Per-share earnings from ongoing operations in the supply segment - primarily the competitive electricity generation and energy marketing operations of PPL Energy Supply - rose to $0.06 from $0.01 a year ago, benefiting from unrealized gains on commodity positions and higher eastern U.S. margins.
- Earnings from ongoing operations from PPL's U.K. regulated operations fell $0.02 to $0.33/share, mostly due to higher U.S. income taxes and the adverse impact of weather on utility revenue.
- Raises its FY 2014 EPS guidance to $2.20-$2.40 from earlier $2.15-$2.30, citing the strong performance of the competitive energy supply business through the first half of the year.
- Also proposes a major new regional transmission project it says would enhance electric grid security while lowering electricity costs for consumers in the mid-Atlantic region.
- PPL +0.6% premarket.
Jul. 31, 2014, 7:01 AM
Jun. 10, 2014, 7:55 AM
- PPL Corp. (PPL) will spin off part of its U.S. power generation business into a venture with P-E firm Riverstone Holdings, confirming earlier speculation.
- The new Talen Energy Corp. will rank as the third-largest publicly traded independent U.S. electricity producer, operating 15,320 MW of capacity in the U.S.
- The spinoff allows PPL to shed 12 stations in Pennsylvania and Montana without cutting this year’s forecast EPS of $2.15-$2.30; PPL says it will re-focus on its "high performing” utility assets in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, and the U.K., which accounted for more than 85% of last year's operating earnings.
- PPL shareholders will own 65% of Talen and Riverstone the remainder, but PPL will have no control or equity in the spinoff.
Jun. 3, 2014, 3:14 PM
- PPL Corp. (PPL +1.1%) is in talks to sell a stake in its electric power subsidiary to P-E firm Riverstone Holdings as part of a tax-free spinoff of the unit, Bloomberg reports.
- The deal reportedly would have PPL spinning out PPL Energy Supply to shareholders and then merging it with a smaller group of Riverstone-owned power facilities in Texas and New Jersey.
- The combined entity would have a market value of $3B-$4B and operate electrical plants with ~12K MW of capacity.
May 27, 2014, 2:30 PM
- The utility sector is among the day's best performers after the annual capacity auction at PJM Interconnection, which runs the largest U.S. power grid, forecasts payments to electricity producers will jump to $120/MW-day vs. $59.37 in the previous 12-month period and expectations of $75-$100.
- The higher capacity price is a boon to power producers, which rely on the payments as baseline revenues; the auction results are viewed as another endorsement of natural gas.
- The outlook is particularly favorable for Exelon (EXC +3.9%) and FirstEnergy (FE +6%), according to S&P's Aneesh Prabhu; PPL Corp. (PPL +2.9%) also benefits, especially considering that the price in its region was expected to fall.
- The price for Public Service Electric & Gas' (PEG -0.2%) utility territory in northern New Jersey was set at $215/MW-day, down from $219 a year earlier.
- ETFs: XLU, IDU, VPU, DBE, RJN, UPW, FUTY, RYU, PUI, FXU, JJE, SDP, ONG, RGRE, UBN
May 23, 2014, 6:35 PM
- Regional transmission organization PJM says its recent auction to procure power supplies for 2017-18 resulted in a clearing price for resources - which includes generation, annual demand response and energy efficiency - which rose to $120/MW-day for most of its deliverability area.
- PJM, which coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and D.C., says the auction continued an overall trend toward more gas-fired generation and increasing diversity of resources.
- PPL, Exelon (EXC), American Electric Power (AEP), Duke Energy (DUK), Dominion Resources (D) and FirstEnergy (FE) are all up ~1% AH.
- Earlier, Barclays downgraded the entire electric sector of the U.S. high-grade corporate bond market to underweight, saying it sees long-term challenges to electric utilities from solar energy which aren't yet priced in.
- ETFs: XLU, LQD, IDU, VPU, CORP, CFT, UPW, FUTY, RYU, FXU, QLTA, SDP, IGHG, COBO, IGS, CBND, IGU, QLTB
PPL vs. ETF Alternatives
PPL Corp is an energy and utility holding company through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the generation and marketing of electricity in the northeastern and western U.S. and in the delivery of electricity in Pennsylvania and the U.K.
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