Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. cut its position in Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) by 0.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 38,358 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 130 shares during the period. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. owned about 0.06% of Avista Corporation worth $1,497,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Tyers Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Avista Corporation by 11.5% in the first quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 2,640 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 272 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Avista Corporation by 73.6% in the first quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,901 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 1,230 shares in the last quarter. Elkfork Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Avista Corporation during the fourth quarter worth approximately $130,000. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Avista Corporation by 11.5% in the first quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 4,620 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $181,000 after buying an additional 476 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ballentine Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Avista Corporation during the first quarter worth approximately $210,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.12% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Avista Corporation (NYSE AVA) traded up 0.12% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $43.50. 52,102 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $42.40 and a 200 day moving average price of $40.35. Avista Corporation has a 52 week low of $37.78 and a 52 week high of $45.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.78 and a beta of 0.39.

Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.16. Avista Corporation had a net margin of 9.70% and a return on equity of 8.61%. The company had revenue of $436.47 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $482.76 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.92 EPS. Avista Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Avista Corporation will post $1.93 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 25th were issued a $0.3575 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 23rd. This represents a $1.43 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.29%. Avista Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 65.00%.

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AVA has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Avista Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Avista Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Avista Corporation presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $41.00.

In related news, VP James M. Kensok sold 750 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.89, for a total value of $30,667.50. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 17,487 shares in the company, valued at approximately $715,043.43. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

About Avista Corporation

Avista Corporation is an electric and natural gas utility company. The Company operates through two segments: Avista Utilities, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P). The Company’s regional services include government and higher education, medical services, retail trade and finance. The Company’s businesses also include sheet metal fabrication, venture fund investments, real estate investments, a company that explores markets that could be served with liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as certain other investments of Avista Capital, which is a subsidiary of the Company.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA)

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