Van ECK Associates Corp Increases Stock Position in Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA)

Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its stake in Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA) by 12.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 10,031 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,092 shares during the quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp’s holdings in Avista were worth $428,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in AVA. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Avista by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,299,406 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $52,157,000 after purchasing an additional 14,551 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Avista by 3.7% during the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 52,606 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,512,000 after acquiring an additional 1,873 shares during the last quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. grew its position in Avista by 6.3% during the first quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. now owns 16,931 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $808,000 after acquiring an additional 998 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers grew its position in Avista by 0.6% during the first quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 232,689 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $11,111,000 after acquiring an additional 1,298 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System grew its position in Avista by 1.6% during the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 20,009 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $955,000 after acquiring an additional 313 shares during the last quarter. 82.38% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE:AVA opened at $39.06 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $2.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.98 and a beta of 0.61. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $42.03 and its 200 day simple moving average is $44.28. Avista Co. has a twelve month low of $32.26 and a twelve month high of $49.14. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.20 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.26 by ($0.06). The company had revenue of $298.26 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $300.04 million. Avista had a net margin of 10.78% and a return on equity of 7.15%. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.26 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Avista Co. will post 2.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 19th were issued a $0.423 dividend. This represents a $1.69 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.33%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 18th. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 88.95%.

A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 26th. TheStreet cut shares of Avista from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.00.

In other Avista news, Director Heidi B. Stanley sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.65, for a total transaction of $40,650.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP David J. Meyer sold 1,143 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.93, for a total value of $47,925.99. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 2,454 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $102,896.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 3,243 shares of company stock valued at $134,675 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

About Avista

Avista Corp. is a holding company, which engages in the provision of electric and natural gas utility business. It operates through the Avista Utilities, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P) segments. The Avista Utilities segment includes electric distribution and transmission, and natural gas distribution services in parts of eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northeastern and Southwestern Oregon.

Further Reading: Index Funds

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)

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