Avista (NYSE:AVA) issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday. The utilities provider reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.06, Morningstar.com reports. Avista had a return on equity of 7.94% and a net margin of 8.86%. The firm had revenue of $397.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $380.39 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.62 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis.
Shares of Avista (AVA) traded up $0.62 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $49.45. The company had a trading volume of 476,267 shares, compared to its average volume of 487,177. Avista has a 52 week low of $38.35 and a 52 week high of $52.83. The company has a market capitalization of $3,204.01, a PE ratio of 24.94 and a beta of 0.32. 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 company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 23rd will be paid a $0.3725 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $1.49 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.01%. This is a boost from Avista’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is 71.86%.
In related news, Director R John Taylor sold 932 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.94, for a total value of $48,408.08. Following the transaction, the director now owns 655 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $34,020.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jason R. Thackston sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.58, for a total value of $77,370.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 22,974 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,184,998.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its position in Avista by 0.6% during the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 364,379 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $18,864,000 after acquiring an additional 2,130 shares in the last quarter. Kassirer Asset Management Corp bought a new stake in Avista during the 3rd quarter valued at $4,183,000. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in Avista by 3.7% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 158,171 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,189,000 after acquiring an additional 5,591 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in Avista by 136.9% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,605,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $82,891,000 after acquiring an additional 928,010 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its position in Avista by 64.8% during the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 17,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $896,000 after acquiring an additional 6,800 shares in the last quarter. 80.00% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on AVA shares. ValuEngine downgraded Avista from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Williams Capital dropped their price objective on Avista from $42.00 to $40.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday. One equities research 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. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.25.
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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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