Avista (NYSE:AVA) Trading 1.3% Higher

Avista Co. (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) shares traded up 1.3% during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $40.95 and last traded at $40.86. 1,105 shares traded hands during trading, a decline of 100% from the average session volume of 351,472 shares. The stock had previously closed at $40.33.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Separately, Mizuho upgraded Avista from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday.

Avista Price Performance

The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $41.99 and a 200-day moving average price of $42.88. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.98 billion, a PE ratio of 19.58, a P/E/G ratio of 3.87 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 0.56 and a current ratio of 0.75.

Avista (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.17 by ($0.01). Avista had a net margin of 9.53% and a return on equity of 6.80%. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.20 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts forecast that Avista Co. will post 1.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Avista Announces Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 18th. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.30%. Avista’s payout ratio is 85.44%.

Insider Transactions at Avista

In other news, SVP Jason R. Thackston sold 1,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.37, for a total value of $54,212.50. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 26,570 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,152,340.90. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Trading of Avista

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Profund Advisors LLC lifted its position in Avista by 20.2% during the 1st quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 12,582 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $568,000 after acquiring an additional 2,112 shares during the period. Bennicas & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in Avista during the 1st quarter worth about $212,000. Duality Advisers LP purchased a new position in shares of Avista during the 1st quarter valued at about $898,000. Advisor Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Avista by 8.6% during the 1st quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 6,749 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $305,000 after buying an additional 536 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Shelton Capital Management purchased a new position in shares of Avista during the 1st quarter valued at about $205,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.39% of the company’s stock.

About Avista

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Avista Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an electric and natural gas utility company. It operates in 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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