PPL Corp Valuation – June 2017 $PPL

Benjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 10 Stocks for Using A Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy – March 2017.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a stock analysis showing a specific look at how PPL Corp (PPL) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): PPL Corporation (PPL) is a utility holding company. Through its subsidiaries, PPL delivers electricity to customers in the United Kingdom, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee; delivers natural gas to customers in Kentucky, and generates electricity from power plants in Kentucky. PPL operates through U.K. Regulated Segment, Kentucky Regulated Segment and Pennsylvania Regulated Segment. The U.K. Regulated Segment consists of PPL Global, which includes PPL WPD Limited’s (WPD) regulated electricity distribution operations, the results of hedging the translation of WPD’s earnings from British pound sterling into United States dollars, and certain costs, such as the United States income taxes, administrative costs and allocated financing costs. Kentucky Regulated segment consists of the operations of Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and KU Energy LLC (LKE). The Pennsylvania Regulated segment consists of PPL Electric Utilities Corporation (PPL Electric).

PPL Chart

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of PPL – June 2017

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $26,214,898,506 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 0.52 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Pass
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 5.42% Fail
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 17.89 Pass
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 2.60 Pass
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 0.52 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 -8.85 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Pass
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Fail

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $2.15
MG Growth Estimate -0.18%
MG Value $17.52
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade D+
MG Value based on 3% Growth $31.24
MG Value based on 0% Growth $18.31
Market Implied Growth Rate 4.70%
Current Price $38.55
% of Intrinsic Value 219.98%

PPL Corp does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor is concerned with the  low current ratio, insufficient earnings growth over the last ten years. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets, and the lack of earnings growth over the last five years.  As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) decline from $2.18 in 2013 to an estimated $2.15 for 2017.  This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 4.7% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years.  As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into PPL Corp revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $27.03.  The company pays a dividend of $1.52 per share, for a yield of 3.9%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today.  Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 17.89, which was below the industry average of 24.79, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.  Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-39.08.

PPL Corp scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of D+.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$39.08
Graham Number $27.03
PEmg 17.89
Current Ratio 0.52
PB Ratio 2.60
Current Dividend $1.52
Dividend Yield 3.94%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 5


Useful Links:

ModernGraham tagged articles Morningstar
Google Finance MSN Money
Yahoo Finance Seeking Alpha
GuruFocus SEC Filings

Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 3/1/2017
Total Current Assets $2,227,000,000
Total Current Liabilities $4,256,000,000
Long-Term Debt $17,958,000,000
Total Assets $39,034,000,000
Intangible Assets $3,694,000,000
Total Liabilities $28,925,000,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 683,084,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $2.23
Dec2016 $2.79
Dec2015 $1.01
Dec2014 $2.61
Dec2013 $1.76
Dec2012 $2.60
Dec2011 $2.70
Dec2010 $2.17
Dec2009 $1.08
Dec2008 $2.47
Dec2007 $3.35
Dec2006 $2.24
Dec2005 $1.65
Dec2004 $1.87
Dec2003 $2.18
Dec2002 $0.68
Dec2001 $0.61
Dec2000 $1.72
Dec1999 $1.42
Dec1998 -$1.73
Dec1997 $0.90

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $2.15
Dec2016 $2.13
Dec2015 $1.91
Dec2014 $2.36
Dec2013 $2.18
Dec2012 $2.33
Dec2011 $2.25
Dec2010 $2.10
Dec2009 $2.10
Dec2008 $2.51
Dec2007 $2.44
Dec2006 $1.90
Dec2005 $1.62
Dec2004 $1.54
Dec2003 $1.35
Dec2002 $0.81
Dec2001 $0.78

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

PPL Corporation Valuation – January 2016 Update $PPL
26 Companies in the Spotlight This Week – 12/13/14
PPL Corporation Annual Valuation – 2014 $PPL

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The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.






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