Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors 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 research reports. Williams Capital lowered Avista Corporation from a hold rating to a sell rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $38.00 to $42.00 in a report on Thursday, July 20th. BidaskClub lowered Avista Corporation from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of Avista Corporation in a report on Friday, July 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $47.75.
Shares of Avista Corporation (NYSE AVA) opened at 52.35 on Tuesday. Avista Corporation has a 12 month low of $37.78 and a 12 month high of $52.83. The company has a market cap of $3.37 billion, a PE ratio of 24.75 and a beta of 0.45. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $51.67 and a 200-day moving average of $45.94.
Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.37 by ($0.03). Avista Corporation had a net margin of 9.35% and a return on equity of 8.19%. The business had revenue of $314.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $326.33 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.43 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Avista Corporation will post $1.95 earnings per share for the current year.
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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 31st were issued a $0.3575 dividend. This represents a $1.43 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 29th. Avista Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 67.77%.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AVA. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its holdings in Avista Corporation by 141.3% in the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 37,033 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,445,000 after acquiring an additional 21,685 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its holdings in Avista Corporation by 40.8% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 53,176 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,077,000 after acquiring an additional 15,404 shares during the last quarter. Oxford Asset Management purchased a new stake in Avista Corporation in the 1st quarter worth about $233,000. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Avista Corporation by 7.2% in the 1st quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 15,038 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $587,000 after acquiring an additional 1,013 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp increased its holdings in Avista Corporation by 31.0% in the 1st quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 12,904 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $502,000 after acquiring an additional 3,057 shares during the last quarter. 69.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Avista Corporation Company Profile
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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