Brokerages Set Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) Target Price at $41.00

Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) has received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the seven research firms that are covering the company, Marketbeat reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $41.00.

Several research firms recently commented on AVA. KeyCorp upped their price objective on Avista from $37.00 to $41.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, October 21st. Williams Capital downgraded Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $41.00 to $42.00 in a research note on Monday, September 16th. ValuEngine upgraded Avista from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 7th.

Avista stock traded down $0.55 during trading on Monday, hitting $46.73. The stock had a trading volume of 365,312 shares, compared to its average volume of 503,889. Avista has a 1 year low of $39.75 and a 1 year high of $52.01. The company has a quick ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 0.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $47.40 and its two-hundred day moving average is $46.03. The stock has a market cap of $3.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 7.34 and a beta of 0.33.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.08 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.15 by ($0.07). Avista had a net margin of 14.19% and a return on equity of 5.96%. The firm had revenue of $283.77 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $295.10 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.15 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Avista will post 1.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 13th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.387 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 20th. This represents a $1.55 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.31%. Avista’s payout ratio is 73.46%.

In other news, insider Broomfield Robert 225,944 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 4th. Also, Director R John Taylor sold 900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.15, for a total transaction of $42,435.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AVA. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 1.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,393,145 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $329,734,000 after purchasing an additional 77,203 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 1.3% in the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,992,562 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $96,520,000 after purchasing an additional 24,810 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 35.9% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,790,430 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $79,853,000 after purchasing an additional 472,588 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 6.4% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,788,937 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $79,786,000 after purchasing an additional 107,296 shares during the period. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 23.9% in the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 1,247,830 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $55,650,000 after purchasing an additional 241,109 shares during the period. 80.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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