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Alliancebernstein L.P. Increases Stock Position in Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA)

Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in shares of Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA) by 32.7% during the second quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 128,196 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 31,583 shares during the quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P.’s holdings in Avista were worth $5,470,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its position in Avista by 2.3% during the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 47,961 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,046,000 after acquiring an additional 1,060 shares during the period. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in Avista during the first quarter worth $218,000. Advisor Partners LLC raised its position in Avista by 17.4% during the first quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 6,488 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $310,000 after acquiring an additional 963 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Avista by 3.5% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 574,269 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $27,421,000 after acquiring an additional 19,280 shares during the period. Finally, Optiver Holding B.V. acquired a new position in Avista during the first quarter worth $3,215,000. 80.09% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Separately, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 26th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Avista currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.00.

In other news, Chairman Scott L. Morris sold 10,000 shares of the firm’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 transaction, the chairman now owns 136,675 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,165,409.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP James M. Kensok sold 600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.99, for a total transaction of $25,194.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 11,125 shares in the company, valued at approximately $467,138.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 20,975 shares of company stock valued at $944,551. 0.94% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Avista stock opened at $41.17 on Friday. Avista Co. has a 12-month low of $32.26 and a 12-month high of $49.14. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.87 billion, a PE ratio of 19.51, a P/E/G ratio of 4.06 and a beta of 0.62. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $42.75. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.20 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.26 by ($0.06). Avista had a return on equity of 7.15% and a net margin of 10.78%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.26 EPS. Research analysts anticipate that Avista Co. will post 2.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.423 per share. This represents a $1.69 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 18th. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 88.95%.

Avista Profile

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)