The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA) by 15.6% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 5,117 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 690 shares during the period. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc.’s holdings in Avista were worth $245,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC increased its position in Avista by 447.8% in the 1st quarter. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC now owns 630 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 515 shares during the period. GPS Wealth Strategies Group LLC acquired a new position in Avista in the 1st quarter valued at about $56,000. Tompkins Financial Corp acquired a new position in Avista in the 4th quarter valued at about $65,000. Baron Silver Stevens Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Avista in the 4th quarter valued at about $65,000. Finally, Veriti Management LLC acquired a new position in Avista in the 4th quarter valued at about $87,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.66% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director R John Taylor sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.86, for a total value of $26,916.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Scott L. Morris sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.11, for a total value of $451,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 136,675 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,165,409.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 22,122 shares of company stock worth $1,027,735. 0.94% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Avista (NYSE:AVA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $399.86 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $410.13 million. Avista had a return on equity of 7.40% and a net margin of 11.20%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.72 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Avista Co. will post 2.12 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 27th will be paid a $0.423 dividend. This represents a $1.69 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.74%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 26th. Avista’s payout ratio is currently 88.95%.
A number of brokerages have weighed in on AVA. Zacks Investment Research raised Avista from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday. TheStreet raised Avista from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Thursday, March 4th. Sidoti reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of Avista in a report on Thursday, April 1st. Finally, Williams Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Avista in a report on Friday, April 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $45.00.
Avista Company Profile
Avista Corporation 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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