TheStreet Upgrades Avista (NYSE:AVA) to B-

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Avista (NYSE:AVA) was upgraded by analysts at TheStreet from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, TheStreetRatingsTable reports.

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on AVA. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. KeyCorp reaffirmed an “underweight” rating and set a $35.00 price objective on shares of Avista in a report on Wednesday, June 5th. Finally, Bank of America started coverage on shares of Avista in a report on Thursday, May 9th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $43.00 price objective for the company. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have assigned a hold rating to the stock. Avista presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $39.25.

AVA stock opened at $43.71 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. The company has a market capitalization of $2.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.98 and a beta of 0.41. Avista has a 12 month low of $39.75 and a 12 month high of $52.91.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by ($0.31). The business had revenue of $377.70 million during the quarter. Avista had a return on equity of 6.48% and a net margin of 14.26%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.83 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Avista will post 1.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Heidi B. Stanley sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.92, for a total transaction of $83,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 12,291 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $515,238.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Jason R. Thackston sold 1,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.58, for a total transaction of $54,475.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 23,952 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,043,828.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 4,982 shares of company stock valued at $211,757. 1.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund bought a new stake in Avista in the 4th quarter valued at $25,000. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P bought a new stake in Avista in the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc bought a new stake in Avista in the 4th quarter valued at $26,000. WP Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Avista in the 1st quarter valued at $26,000. Finally, Private Capital Group LLC boosted its holdings in Avista by 1,179.2% in the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 985 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $40,000 after purchasing an additional 908 shares during the period. 78.62% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Avista Company Profile

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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