Avista (NYSE:AVA) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Last updated on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 2021 MarketBeat

Avista (NYSE:AVA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a report released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, "Avista Corporation is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is its operating division that provides electric service customers and natural gas customers. Its service territory covers in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon. Alaska Energy and Resources Company is an Avista subsidiary that provides retail electric service in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, through its subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company. "

AVA has been the topic of several other reports. TheStreet upgraded shares of Avista from a "c+" rating to a "b-" rating in a research note on Thursday, March 4th. Williams Capital reaffirmed a "buy" rating on shares of Avista in a report on Friday, April 23rd. Finally, Sidoti reissued a "neutral" rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Avista in a report on Thursday, April 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company's stock. The company has an average rating of "Hold" and a consensus price target of $45.00.

Shares of NYSE AVA remained flat at $$44.40 during midday trading on Tuesday. 357,479 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 445,057. The firm's fifty day moving average is $45.95. The firm has a market cap of $3.08 billion, a PE ratio of 20.46, a PEG ratio of 3.90 and a beta of 0.61. The company has a current ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00. Avista has a fifty-two week low of $32.26 and a fifty-two week high of $49.14.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks' consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $399.86 million during the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $410.13 million. Avista had a net margin of 11.20% and a return on equity of 7.40%. The firm's quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.72 EPS. As a group, analysts expect that Avista will post 2.12 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Kristianne Blake sold 9,775 shares of Avista stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.15, for a total value of $441,341.25. Following the transaction, the director now owns 9,477 shares of the company's stock, valued at $427,886.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Scott L. Morris sold 10,000 shares of the firm's stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.11, for a total transaction of $451,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now 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 20,375 shares of company stock worth $919,357. Corporate insiders own 0.94% of the company's stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AVA. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC boosted its stake in Avista by 447.8% in the first quarter. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC now owns 630 shares of the utilities provider's stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 515 shares in the last quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC boosted its position in Avista by 41.4% in the first quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 755 shares of the utilities provider's stock worth $36,000 after purchasing an additional 221 shares during the last quarter. Eaton Vance Management purchased a new position in Avista in the first quarter worth $43,000. GPS Wealth Strategies Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Avista in the first quarter valued at $56,000. Finally, Tompkins Financial Corp bought a new stake in shares of Avista during the 4th quarter valued at $65,000. 83.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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