PPL Corp. has fundamentally repositioned itself in two years to concentrate its business on rate-regulated utilities rather than the more volatile power-generation sector, William H. Spence, PPL chairman and chief executive, told shareholders at its annual meeting Wednesday in Bethlehem.

The Allentown company, which operates PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania, acquired utilities in Kentucky and the United Kingdom in the last two years and projects that 70 percent of its earnings this year will come from rate-regulated businesses. In 2010, 73 percent of PPL's earnings came from power-generation, which has suffered from a downturn in wholesale electricity prices.

"The bottom line is this: Without the additional earnings from these rate-regulated operations, PPL's earnings per share would be significantly depressed for 2012 and the foreseeable future," Spence said.

– Andrew Maykuth