Avista Corp (AVA) Stake Lifted by QS Investors LLC

QS Investors LLC grew its holdings in Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) by 26.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 7,649 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,611 shares during the quarter. QS Investors LLC’s holdings in Avista were worth $394,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in shares of Avista by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 364,379 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $18,864,000 after purchasing an additional 2,130 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Avista by 2.3% in the 4th quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 128,267 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,604,000 after purchasing an additional 2,891 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Avista by 2.0% in the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 109,700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,648,000 after purchasing an additional 2,100 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of Avista by 3.7% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 158,171 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,189,000 after purchasing an additional 5,591 shares during the period. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in shares of Avista by 136.9% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,605,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $82,891,000 after purchasing an additional 928,010 shares during the period. 81.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Avista stock opened at $51.50 on Friday. Avista Corp has a 52 week low of $38.35 and a 52 week high of $52.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a current ratio of 0.48. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,379.84, a P/E ratio of 28.77 and a beta of 0.37.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.06. Avista had a return on equity of 7.72% and a net margin of 8.02%. The business had revenue of $397.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $380.39 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.62 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Avista Corp will post 2.05 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 23rd were paid a dividend of $0.3725 per share. This is an increase from Avista’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.49 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 22nd. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is 83.24%.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on AVA. Williams Capital reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective (down from $42.00) on shares of Avista in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. ValuEngine downgraded Avista from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Avista presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.67.

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Avista Profile

Avista Corporation is an electric and natural gas utility company. The Company operates through two segments: Avista Utilities, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P). The Company’s regional services include government and higher education, medical services, retail trade and finance. The Company’s businesses also include sheet metal fabrication, venture fund investments, real estate investments, a company that explores markets that could be served with liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as certain other investments of Avista Capital, which is a subsidiary of the Company.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)

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