Avista Corp (AVA) Receives Average Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) have received an average rating of “Hold” from the seven ratings firms that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have given a hold recommendation and one has assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $44.00.

Several research firms recently commented on AVA. ValuEngine cut shares of Avista from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Avista in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th.

In other news, Director R John Taylor sold 932 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.94, for a total value of $48,408.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 655 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,020.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Jason R. Thackston sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.58, for a total transaction of $77,370.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 22,974 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,184,998.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AVA. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Avista by 28.8% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 599 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Avista by 16.3% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,883 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 403 shares in the last quarter. LMR Partners LLP acquired a new position in shares of Avista in the 3rd quarter valued at $201,000. Gibson Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Avista in the 3rd quarter valued at $207,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Avista by 34.3% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $218,000 after buying an additional 1,080 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.99% of the company’s stock.

Avista (AVA) opened at $50.16 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $3,257.48, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.21 and a beta of 0.32. Avista has a one year low of $38.35 and a one year high of $52.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 0.47.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be paid a $0.3725 dividend. This is a boost from Avista’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $1.49 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.97%. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.86%.

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Avista 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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