Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) shares gapped up prior to trading on Tuesday . The stock had previously closed at $41.89, but opened at $41.98. Avista Corp. shares last traded at $42.29, with a volume of 88,641 shares changing hands.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on AVA shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Avista Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, June 2nd. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $42.00 price objective on shares of Avista Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd.

The stock has a market capitalization of $2.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.35 and a beta of 0.45. The company has a 50-day moving average of $41.66 and a 200-day moving average of $41.42.

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

The firm also recently announced 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. This represents a $1.37 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 30th. Avista Corp.’s payout ratio is 64.02%.

In other news, insider Marian M. Durkin sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 directly owns 67,245 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,861,947.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Jason R. Thackston sold 950 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 directly owns 17,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $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 made changes to their positions in the company. 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 during the last quarter. Huntington Asset Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in Avista Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $2,032,000. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. purchased a new position in Avista Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $276,000. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC increased its position in Avista Corp. by 8.0% in the first quarter. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC now owns 13,550 shares of the company’s stock valued at $553,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased 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 valued at $69,000,000 after buying an additional 95,891 shares in the last quarter. 68.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AVA

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