Magellan Asset Management Ltd increased its holdings in Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) by 10.4% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 49,087 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 4,625 shares during the quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd’s holdings in Avista were worth $1,994,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund purchased a new position in Avista in the fourth quarter worth approximately $25,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc purchased a new position in Avista in the fourth quarter worth approximately $26,000. WP Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Avista during the first quarter worth $26,000. Private Capital Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Avista by 1,179.2% during the first quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 985 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $40,000 after buying an additional 908 shares during the period. Finally, Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Avista during the fourth quarter worth $56,000. Institutional investors own 78.62% of the company’s stock.
AVA has been the subject of several research analyst reports. TheStreet upgraded Avista from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Monday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th. Bank of America initiated coverage on Avista in a research report on Thursday, May 9th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $43.00 price target for the company. Finally, KeyCorp restated an “underweight” rating and set a $35.00 price target on shares of Avista in a research report on Wednesday, June 5th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.25.
Shares of AVA traded up $0.30 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $44.01. 11,473 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 697,223. Avista Corp has a 52-week low of $39.75 and a 52-week high of $52.91. The firm has a market cap of $2.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.90, a P/E/G ratio of 6.98 and a beta of 0.41. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94.
Avista (NYSE:AVA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.83 by ($0.31). Avista had a return on equity of 6.48% and a net margin of 14.26%. The firm had revenue of $377.70 million for the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.83 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Avista Corp will post 1.9 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.3875 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 22nd. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.52%. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is currently 73.46%.
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Avista Company Profile
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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