Investors Sell Shares of Avista (AVA) on Strength (AVA)

Investors sold shares of Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) on strength during trading on Friday. $4.02 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $8.19 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $4.17 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Avista had the 30th highest net out-flow for the day. Avista traded up $0.34 for the day and closed at $50.42

AVA has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. ValuEngine downgraded 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. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Avista currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $47.75.

The firm has a market capitalization of $3,250.00, a P/E ratio of 25.34 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 0.47 and a quick ratio of 0.37.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.14 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.15 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $297.10 million during the quarter. Avista had a return on equity of 7.94% and a net margin of 8.86%. equities research analysts forecast that Avista Corp will post 2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be issued a $0.3725 dividend. This represents a $1.49 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.96%. This is a boost from Avista’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is 71.86%.

In other news, Director R John Taylor sold 932 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $34,020.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Jason R. Thackston sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was 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 directly 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. Insiders sold 2,932 shares of company stock valued at $151,683 in the last three months. Company insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Avista by 38.8% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,498 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 698 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Avista by 28.8% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $114,000 after acquiring an additional 599 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Avista by 16.3% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,883 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $123,000 after acquiring an additional 403 shares during the last quarter. CWH Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Avista in the second quarter worth about $132,000. Finally, LMR Partners LLP bought a new position in shares of Avista in the third quarter worth about $201,000. 77.36% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Avista

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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