Avista Corp (AVA) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday.
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) “
AVA has been the subject of several other reports. Williams Capital lowered Avista Corp from a hold rating to a sell rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $38.00 to $42.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. BidaskClub lowered Avista Corp from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a hold rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of Avista Corp in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $47.75.
Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.37 by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $314.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $326.33 million. Avista Corp had a return on equity of 5.18% and a net margin of 6.91%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.43 earnings per share.
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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 31st were paid a $0.3575 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 29th. This represents a $1.43 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.74%. Avista Corp’s payout ratio is presently 67.77%.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Avista Corp by 38.8% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,498 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 698 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its stake in Avista Corp by 28.8% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 599 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in Avista Corp by 16.3% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,883 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $123,000 after buying an additional 403 shares in the last quarter. CWH Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Avista Corp in the 2nd quarter worth $132,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its stake in Avista Corp by 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,145 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 244 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.66% of the company’s stock.
About Avista Corp
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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