ValuEngine Lowers Avista (NYSE:AVA) to Buy

ValuEngine lowered shares of Avista (NYSE:AVA) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, ValuEngine reports.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on AVA. KeyCorp raised their price target on shares of Avista from $37.00 to $41.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Monday, October 21st. Zacks Investment Research raised Avista from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, November 7th. Finally, Williams Capital downgraded Avista from a hold rating to a sell rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $41.00 to $42.00 in a research report on Monday, September 16th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $43.60.

Shares of AVA opened at $47.34 on Tuesday. Avista has a 1 year low of $39.75 and a 1 year high of $49.33. The company has a market cap of $3.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 7.34 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 0.45 and a current ratio of 0.62. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $47.35 and a 200-day moving average of $46.13.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.08 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $283.77 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $295.10 million. Avista had a net margin of 14.19% and a return on equity of 5.96%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.15 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Avista will post 1.92 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 21st will be paid a $0.387 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 20th. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.27%. Avista’s payout ratio is 73.46%.

In other news, Director R John Taylor sold 900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.15, for a total value of $42,435.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Broomfield Robert 225,944 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 4th. 1.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Avista in the third quarter worth about $30,000. Signaturefd LLC boosted its position in shares of Avista by 101.9% during the 3rd quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 624 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 315 shares in the last quarter. CWM LLC grew its stake in shares of Avista by 112.5% in the 2nd quarter. CWM LLC now owns 850 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $38,000 after purchasing an additional 450 shares during the last quarter. Usca Ria LLC acquired a new position in shares of Avista in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $53,000. Finally, Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Avista by 553.5% during the second quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,111 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $50,000 after purchasing an additional 941 shares during the last quarter. 80.12% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Avista

Avista Corporation operates as an electric and natural gas utility company. It operates through two segments, Avista Utilities and AEL&P. The Avista Utilities segment provides electric distribution and transmission, and natural gas distribution services in parts of eastern Washington and northern Idaho; and natural gas distribution services in parts of northeastern and southwestern Oregon, as well as generates electricity in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana.

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To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

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