RS Investment Management Co. LLC reduced its stake in Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) by 1.6% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 657,670 shares of the company’s stock after selling 10,430 shares during the period. RS Investment Management Co. LLC’s holdings in Avista Corp. were worth $29,464,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Hillcrest Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Avista Corp. during the first quarter worth approximately $9,180,000. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its position in Avista Corp. by 57.9% in the second quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 424,797 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,032,000 after buying an additional 155,767 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in Avista Corp. by 70.2% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 246,330 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,045,000 after buying an additional 101,600 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in Avista Corp. by 6.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,692,007 shares of the company’s stock worth $69,000,000 after buying an additional 95,891 shares during the period. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its position in Avista Corp. by 82.2% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 145,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,949,000 after buying an additional 65,843 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.07% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) traded up 1.46% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $43.66. 440,479 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $41.68 and its 200 day moving average is $41.45. Avista Corp. has a 52-week low of $31.91 and a 52-week high of $45.22. The firm has a market cap of $2.78 billion, a PE ratio of 20.10 and a beta of 0.45.

Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.43 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.02. Avista Corp. had a net margin of 9.38% and a return on equity of 8.32%. The business had revenue of $234.79 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $316.24 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.40 EPS. Avista Corp.’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Avista Corp. will post $2.08 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were given a dividend of $0.3425 per share. This represents a $1.37 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.14%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30th. Avista Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 64.02%.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on AVA shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Avista Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Williams Capital lifted their target price on shares of Avista Corp. from $38.00 to $40.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $42.00 target price on shares of Avista Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd.

In other news, insider Marian M. Durkin sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 67,245 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,861,947.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Jason R. Thackston sold 950 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.90, for a total transaction of $38,855.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 17,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $704,788.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

About Avista Corp.

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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