Royce & Associates LP bought a new stake in shares of Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm bought 11,016 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $447,000.
Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Strs Ohio grew its holdings in shares of Avista by 16.1% during the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 6,500 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $276,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers grew its holdings in shares of Avista by 20.8% during the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 200,645 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,523,000 after buying an additional 34,582 shares during the last quarter. Redpoint Investment Management Pty Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Avista during the fourth quarter valued at about $394,000. Everence Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Avista by 18.8% during the fourth quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. now owns 7,260 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $308,000 after buying an additional 1,150 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund purchased a new position in Avista during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.60% of the company’s stock.
In other news, Director Heidi B. Stanley sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.92, for a total value of $83,840.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 12,291 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $515,238.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Scott L. Morris sold 23,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.33, for a total transaction of $1,019,590.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 198,865 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,815,685.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 37,986 shares of company stock worth $1,672,624. Insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.
Avista (NYSE:AVA) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by ($0.31). The company had revenue of $377.70 million during the quarter. Avista had a net margin of 14.26% and a return on equity of 6.48%. The firm’s revenue was down 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.83 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Avista Corp will post 1.9 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 23rd were given a $0.3875 dividend. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.49%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 22nd. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 73.46%.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 21st. TheStreet upgraded shares of Avista from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, June 10th. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Avista in a report on Thursday, May 9th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $43.00 price target on the stock. Finally, KeyCorp restated an “underweight” rating and set a $35.00 price target on shares of Avista in a 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. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.25.
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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