Gabelli Funds LLC Raises Stock Position in Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA)

Gabelli Funds LLC boosted its position in Avista Co. (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) by 2.2% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 320,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 7,000 shares during the quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC owned about 0.45% of Avista worth $13,597,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in AVA. Peregrine Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Avista in the fourth quarter worth $10,961,000. ProShare Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Avista by 11.0% in the 4th quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 260,891 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $11,085,000 after acquiring an additional 25,847 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in shares of Avista by 1.4% during the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 908,495 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $38,602,000 after acquiring an additional 12,477 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Avista during the third quarter worth about $605,000. Finally, Apella Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Avista in the fourth quarter worth approximately $818,000. 82.47% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, Chairman Scott L. Morris sold 7,627 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total value of $335,588.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 130,398 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,737,512. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Scott L. Morris sold 9,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.49, for a total value of $400,410.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 23,108 shares of company stock valued at $1,028,279 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 10th. Mizuho assumed coverage on Avista in a research note on Thursday, March 10th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $47.00 price target for the company. Finally, StockNews.com began coverage on Avista in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating on the stock.

Shares of Avista stock opened at $43.17 on Monday. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $43.85 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $42.85. Avista Co. has a 12-month low of $37.73 and a 12-month high of $46.90. The firm has a market cap of $3.13 billion, a PE ratio of 20.56, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.86 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05.

Avista (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $448.87 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $427.01 million. Avista had a return on equity of 7.05% and a net margin of 10.23%. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.98 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Avista Co. will post 1.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 27th will be issued a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 26th. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.08%. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 83.81%.

Avista Profile (Get Rating)

Avista Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an electric and natural gas utility company. It operates in 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)

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