Avista (AVA) Sees Unusually-High Trading Volume

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Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) saw unusually-high trading volume on Friday . Approximately 1,713,076 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 96% from the previous session’s volume of 872,978 shares.The stock last traded at $41.45 and had previously closed at $41.11.

AVA has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Guggenheim reissued a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 price objective on shares of Avista in a research note on Friday, February 8th. Williams Capital raised shares of Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $40.00 to $41.00 in a research note on Friday, January 4th. ValuEngine cut shares of Avista from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 11th. TheStreet cut shares of Avista from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, Avista presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.50.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 0.44 and a current ratio of 0.54. The company has a market capitalization of $2.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.64 and a beta of 0.38.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.10. Avista had a net margin of 9.77% and a return on equity of 7.79%. The business had revenue of $372.22 million during the quarter. Analysts anticipate that Avista Corp will post 2.88 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.3875 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 21st. This represents a $1.55 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.74%. This is a positive change from Avista’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 73.46%.

In related news, SVP Jason R. Thackston sold 2,875 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.04, for a total transaction of $115,115.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 27,327 shares in the company, valued at $1,094,173.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP David J. Meyer sold 1,437 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.34, for a total transaction of $59,405.58. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 2,396 shares in the company, valued at approximately $99,050.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 50,636 shares of company stock worth $2,070,250. 1.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc acquired a new stake in Avista during the fourth quarter worth approximately $26,000. Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Avista during the 4th quarter worth about $56,000. First Hawaiian Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Avista during the 4th quarter worth about $66,000. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Avista during the 4th quarter worth about $148,000. Finally, FNY Investment Advisers LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Avista during the 3rd quarter worth about $185,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.69% of the company’s stock.

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Avista Company Profile (NYSE:AVA)

Avista Corporation operates as an electric and natural gas utility company. It operates through two segments, Avista Utilities and AEL&P. The Avista Utilities segment provides electric distribution and transmission, and natural gas distribution services in parts of eastern Washington and northern Idaho; and natural gas distribution services in parts of northeastern and southwestern Oregon, as well as generates electricity in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana.

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