Contrasting Avista (NYSE:AVA) & Via Renewables (NASDAQ:VIA)

Avista (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) and Via Renewables (NASDAQ:VIAGet Rating) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, profitability and valuation.

Dividends

Avista pays an annual dividend of $1.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.0%. Via Renewables pays an annual dividend of $0.73 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.3%. Avista pays out 83.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Via Renewables pays out 64.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Avista has increased its dividend for 21 consecutive years. Via Renewables is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Risk and Volatility

Avista has a beta of 0.63, indicating that its stock price is 37% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Via Renewables has a beta of 1.03, indicating that its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Avista and Via Renewables’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Avista 10.23% 7.05% 2.21%
Via Renewables 6.33% 36.29% 7.02%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Avista and Via Renewables’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Avista $1.44 billion 2.22 $147.33 million $2.10 20.96
Via Renewables $393.48 million 0.79 $5.20 million $1.14 7.68

Avista has higher revenue and earnings than Via Renewables. Via Renewables is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Avista, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Avista and Via Renewables, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Avista 0 1 0 0 2.00
Via Renewables 0 0 0 0 N/A

Avista presently has a consensus target price of $47.00, indicating a potential upside of 6.77%. Given Avista’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Avista is more favorable than Via Renewables.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

82.5% of Avista shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 16.9% of Via Renewables shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Avista shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 66.1% of Via Renewables shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Avista beats Via Renewables on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Avista Company Profile (Get Rating)

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. This segment also engages in the wholesale purchase and sale of electricity and natural gas. The AEL&P segment offers electric services to 17,400 customers in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska. The company generates electricity through hydroelectric, thermal, and wind facilities. As of February 23, 2022, it provided electric service to 406,000 customers and natural gas to 372,000 customers. In addition, the company engages in venture fund investments, real estate investments, and other investments. Avista Corporation was incorporated in 1889 and is headquartered in Spokane, Washington.

Via Renewables Company Profile (Get Rating)

Via Renewables, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an independent retail energy services company in the United States. It operates in two segments, Retail Electricity and Retail Natural Gas. The Retail Electricity segment engages in the transmission and sale of electricity to residential and commercial customers. The Retail Natural Gas segment is involved in the transportation, distribution, and sale of natural gas to residential and commercial customers. As of March 2, 2022, the company operated in 101 utility service territories across 19 states and the District of Columbia. It has approximately 408,000 residential customer equivalents. The company was formerly known as Spark Energy, Inc. and changed its name to Via Renewables, Inc. in August 2021. Via Renewables, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Receive News & Ratings for Avista Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Avista and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.