Avista’s (NYSE:AVA) Underweight Rating Reaffirmed at KeyCorp

KeyCorp restated their underweight rating on shares of Avista (NYSE:AVA) in a research report report published on Wednesday, June 5th, Stock Target Advisor reports. KeyCorp currently has a $35.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. KeyCorp also issued estimates for Avista’s FY2019 earnings at $1.85 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $1.95 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $2.09 EPS.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on AVA. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Avista in a report on Thursday, May 9th. They set an underperform rating and a $43.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Avista from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 21st. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a hold rating and set a $38.00 price target on shares of Avista in a research report on Friday, February 8th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a hold rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.25.

AVA traded up $0.19 on Wednesday, hitting $44.60. The company had a trading volume of 602,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 669,710. 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 has a 52-week low of $39.75 and a 52-week high of $52.91. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $43.11. The firm has a market cap of $2.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.14, a P/E/G ratio of 7.16 and a beta of 0.41.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by ($0.31). Avista had a net margin of 14.26% and a return on equity of 6.48%. The business had revenue of $377.70 million for the quarter. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.83 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Avista will post 1.9 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 23rd were given a dividend of $0.3875 per share. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 22nd. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 73.46%.

In other Avista news, VP Kevin J. Christie sold 780 shares of Avista stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.78, for a total value of $32,588.40. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 9,229 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $385,587.62. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Heidi B. Stanley sold 2,000 shares of Avista stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.92, for a total transaction of $83,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 12,291 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $515,238.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 37,986 shares of company stock valued at $1,672,624 in the last three months. 1.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Avista by 654.8% during the first quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 50,235 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,041,000 after acquiring an additional 43,580 shares during the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC raised its holdings in shares of Avista by 9,823.2% in the first quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC now owns 8,137 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $331,000 after buying an additional 8,055 shares during the last quarter. Cooper Creek Partners Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Avista in the first quarter worth $9,629,000. Arjuna Capital raised its holdings in shares of Avista by 83.1% in the first quarter. Arjuna Capital now owns 28,068 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,140,000 after buying an additional 12,735 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Magellan Asset Management Ltd raised its holdings in shares of Avista by 10.4% in the first quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 49,087 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,994,000 after buying an additional 4,625 shares during the last quarter. 78.62% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Further Reading: Risk Tolerance

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