James M. Kensok Sells 500 Shares of Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) Stock

Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) VP James M. Kensok sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.55, for a total value of $21,775.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 9,409 shares in the company, valued at $409,761.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link.

NYSE:AVA traded up $0.42 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $41.76. 627,200 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 715,434. The company has a market capitalization of $2.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.79, a P/E/G ratio of 6.63 and a beta of 0.40. Avista Corp has a 1-year low of $39.75 and a 1-year high of $52.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.54.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by ($0.31). The company had revenue of $377.70 million for the quarter. Avista had a return on equity of 6.48% and a net margin of 14.26%. Avista’s quarterly revenue was down 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.83 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Avista Corp will post 1.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.3875 per share. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 22nd. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is currently 73.46%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Avista by 3.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,002,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $50,695,000 after buying an additional 32,184 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Avista during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $485,000. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Avista by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 115,966 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,863,000 after purchasing an additional 1,437 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley raised its holdings in shares of Avista by 27.5% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 484,161 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $24,479,000 after purchasing an additional 104,436 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Avista by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,006,076 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $354,227,000 after purchasing an additional 97,483 shares during the period. 78.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several analysts recently issued reports on AVA shares. Guggenheim reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 target price on shares of Avista in a report on Friday, February 8th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 6th. Finally, Bank of America began coverage on Avista in a research report on Thursday, May 9th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $43.00 price target on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have issued a hold rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $40.67.

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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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