Arizona State Retirement System Acquires 379 Shares of Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA)

Arizona State Retirement System lifted its holdings in Avista Co. (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) by 2.0% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 19,130 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 379 shares during the period. Arizona State Retirement System’s holdings in Avista were worth $864,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Bennicas & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Avista in the first quarter worth $212,000. Advisor Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Avista by 8.6% in the first quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 6,749 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $305,000 after purchasing an additional 536 shares in the last quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Avista by 2,016.4% in the fourth quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 211,643 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,993,000 after purchasing an additional 201,643 shares in the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Avista by 11.0% during the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 260,891 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,085,000 after buying an additional 25,847 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in Avista by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 908,495 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $38,602,000 after buying an additional 12,477 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 82.47% of the company’s stock.

Insider Buying and Selling at Avista

In other Avista news, Chairman Scott L. Morris sold 7,627 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total value of $335,588.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 130,398 shares in the company, valued at $5,737,512. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Separately, Mizuho boosted their target price on shares of Avista from $43.00 to $44.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 29th.

Avista Price Performance

Shares of AVA opened at $42.96 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $3.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.46, a PEG ratio of 3.71 and a beta of 0.53. Avista Co. has a 1-year low of $37.73 and a 1-year high of $46.90. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $42.23 and its 200 day simple moving average is $43.35. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05.

Avista (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.06. Avista had a net margin of 10.23% and a return on equity of 7.05%. The business had revenue of $448.87 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $427.01 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.98 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that Avista Co. will post 1.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Avista Announces Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 27th were issued a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 26th. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.10%. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is currently 83.81%.

Avista Profile

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)

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