Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

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Shares of Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) have been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the seven ratings firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $41.00.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on AVA. ValuEngine raised Avista from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 11th. Williams Capital lowered Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $41.00 to $42.00 in a research report on Monday, September 16th. KeyCorp raised their target price on Avista from $37.00 to $41.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 21st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 7th.

In other news, Director R John Taylor sold 900 shares of Avista stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.15, for a total value of $42,435.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Broomfield Robert 225,944 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 4th. Company insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AVA. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of Avista in the 2nd quarter worth about $22,734,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Avista by 35.9% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,790,430 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $79,853,000 after acquiring an additional 472,588 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. raised its position in shares of Avista by 68.1% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,104,297 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $49,252,000 after acquiring an additional 447,492 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Avista in the 2nd quarter worth about $18,660,000. Finally, AMP Capital Investors Ltd raised its position in shares of Avista by 595.2% in the 2nd quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 431,622 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $19,167,000 after acquiring an additional 369,537 shares in the last quarter. 80.12% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NYSE:AVA traded down $0.55 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $46.73. 365,312 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 503,889. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 7.34 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a current ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02. Avista has a one year low of $39.75 and a one year high of $52.01. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $47.40 and a 200 day simple moving average of $46.03.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $283.77 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $295.10 million. Avista had a return on equity of 5.96% and a net margin of 14.19%. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.15 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Avista will post 1.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 21st will be given a $0.387 dividend. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 20th. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 73.46%.

About Avista

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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