KeyCorp Boosts Avista (NYSE:AVA) Price Target to $41.00

Avista (NYSE:AVA) had its price target raised by stock analysts at KeyCorp from $37.00 to $41.00 in a report issued on Monday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has an “underweight” rating on the utilities provider’s stock. KeyCorp’s price target points to a potential downside of 14.26% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 8th. Williams Capital cut shares of Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $41.00 to $42.00 in a research note on Monday, September 16th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Avista from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 2nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Avista presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $43.60.

Shares of AVA stock opened at $47.82 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.66, a PEG ratio of 7.43 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a current ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $48.00 and its 200 day moving average is $44.99. Avista has a 12 month low of $39.75 and a 12 month high of $52.70.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.38 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $300.81 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $315.08 million. Avista had a net margin of 14.43% and a return on equity of 6.35%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.39 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Avista will post 1.95 EPS for the current year.

In other Avista news, SVP Jason R. Thackston sold 6,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.82, for a total value of $304,330.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 17,452 shares in the company, valued at approximately $817,102.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP James M. Kensok sold 760 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.95, for a total transaction of $35,682.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 8,649 shares in the company, valued at $406,070.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 8,698 shares of company stock worth $407,282 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. CWM LLC increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 177.4% in the 3rd quarter. CWM LLC now owns 2,358 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 1,508 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 6.7% in the 3rd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 6,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $310,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc bought a new position in shares of Avista in the 3rd quarter worth $153,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 17.6% in the 3rd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 41,875 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,028,000 after buying an additional 6,255 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Avista by 3.3% in the 3rd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 115,450 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,592,000 after buying an additional 3,700 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.92% of the company’s stock.

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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