Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Avista Corp. is a diversified energy company with utility and subsidiary operations located throughout North America. Avista Corp. also operates Avista Capital, which owns all the company’s non-regulated energy and non-energy businesses. Avista Capital companies include Avista Energy, Avista Energy Canada, Ltd., Avista Power, Avista Advantage, Avista Labs, Avista Fiber, Avista Communiations, Avista Development and Pentzer Corporation. (PRESS RELEASE) “
Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Williams Capital lifted their target price on shares of Avista Corp. from $38.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $42.00 target price on shares of Avista Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd.
Shares of Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) opened at 39.53 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $41.25 and its 200-day moving average is $41.60. Avista Corp. has a 12-month low of $32.61 and a 12-month high of $45.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.20 and a beta of 0.40.
Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.43 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.02. The firm earned $234.79 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $316.24 million. Avista Corp. had a return on equity of 8.32% and a net margin of 9.38%. The business’s revenue was down 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.40 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Avista Corp. will post $2.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 1st were issued a dividend of $0.3425 per share. This represents a $1.37 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.47%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30th. Avista Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 64.02%.
In related news, insider Marian M. Durkin sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.56, for a total transaction of $148,960.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 67,245 shares in the company, valued at $2,861,947.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Jason R. Thackston sold 950 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.90, for a total transaction of $38,855.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 17,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $704,788.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisor Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Avista Corp. during the second quarter worth about $107,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in Avista Corp. by 24,520.0% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,462 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 2,452 shares during the period. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC acquired a new stake in Avista Corp. during the second quarter worth about $117,000. Washington Trust Bank boosted its stake in Avista Corp. by 1.0% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 4,012 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in Avista Corp. during the second quarter worth about $181,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.07% of the company’s stock.
Avista Corp. Company Profile
Avista Corporation is an electric and natural gas utility with certain other business ventures. The Company operates through two business segments: Avista Utilities, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P). Avista Utilities segment generates, transmits and distributes electricity, and distributes natural gas serving electric and natural gas customers in eastern Washington and northern Idaho and natural gas customers in parts of Oregon.
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