Avista Corp. (AVA) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. They currently have $44.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Avista Corp. is a diversified energy company with utility and subsidiary operations located throughout North America. Avista Corp. also operates Avista Capital, which owns all the company’s non-regulated energy and non-energy businesses. Avista Capital companies include Avista Energy, Avista Energy Canada, Ltd., Avista Power, Avista Advantage, Avista Labs, Avista Fiber, Avista Communiations, Avista Development and Pentzer Corporation. (PRESS RELEASE) “
Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Williams Capital raised their target price on Avista Corp. from $38.00 to $40.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $42.00 target price on shares of Avista Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd.
Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) opened at 39.53 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $41.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $41.61. The firm has a market cap of $2.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.20 and a beta of 0.40. Avista Corp. has a 52 week low of $32.61 and a 52 week high of $45.22.
Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the 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 prior year, the business earned $0.40 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Avista Corp. will post $2.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were paid a dividend of $0.3425 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 30th. This represents a $1.37 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.47%. Avista Corp.’s payout ratio is 64.02%.
In other news, insider Marian M. Durkin sold 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.56, for a total transaction of $148,960.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 67,245 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,861,947.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Jason R. Thackston sold 950 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.90, for a total value of $38,855.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now 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.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AVA. A.R.T. Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Avista Corp. by 25.0% in the first quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC now owns 14,015 shares of the company’s stock valued at $571,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd bought a new position in shares of Avista Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $631,000. Hancock Holding Co. increased its position in shares of Avista Corp. by 143.7% in the first quarter. Hancock Holding Co. now owns 39,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,609,000 after buying an additional 23,265 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Avista Corp. by 12.4% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 433,985 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,697,000 after buying an additional 47,884 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Avista Corp. by 82.2% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 145,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,949,000 after buying an additional 65,843 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 68.07% 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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