Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Avista Corporation (AVA) to Sell
Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a 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) “
Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Williams Capital cut shares of Avista Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and increased their price target for the company from $38.00 to $42.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price target on shares of Avista Corporation in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Avista Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $47.75.
Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 the consensus estimate of $326.33 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.43 EPS. Avista Corporation’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Avista Corporation will post $1.95 earnings per share for the current year.
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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AVA. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its stake in Avista Corporation by 141.3% during the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 37,033 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,445,000 after purchasing an additional 21,685 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its stake in Avista Corporation by 40.8% during the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 53,176 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,077,000 after purchasing an additional 15,404 shares in the last quarter. Oxford Asset Management bought a new stake in Avista Corporation during the 1st quarter valued at about $233,000. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its stake in Avista Corporation by 7.2% during the 1st quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 15,038 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $587,000 after purchasing an additional 1,013 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp increased its stake in Avista Corporation by 31.0% during the 1st quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 12,904 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $502,000 after purchasing an additional 3,057 shares in the last quarter. 69.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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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