Avista (AVA) Cut to “Hold” at ValuEngine

Avista (NYSE:AVA) was downgraded by equities researchers at ValuEngine from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Avista in a report on Friday, October 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. Avista currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.75.

Shares of Avista (NYSE:AVA) traded down $0.04 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $51.47. 205,915 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 420,505. The company has a market capitalization of $3,320.00, a P/E ratio of 25.86 and a beta of 0.42. Avista has a 52-week low of $37.78 and a 52-week high of $52.83. The company has a current ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92.

In other Avista news, VP Kevin J. Christie sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.81, for a total transaction of $25,905.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 1,992 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $103,205.52. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director R John Taylor sold 932 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.94, for a total transaction of $48,408.08. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 655 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $34,020.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have bought 116,000 shares of company stock valued at $32,080 and have sold 7,632 shares valued at $396,130. 1.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Magnetar Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of Avista during the third quarter worth $142,309,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in Avista by 136.9% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,605,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $82,891,000 after purchasing an additional 928,010 shares during the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its position in Avista by 157.3% during the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 613,299 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $31,751,000 after purchasing an additional 374,970 shares during the last quarter. ARP Americas LLC bought a new position in Avista during the third quarter valued at $16,595,000. Finally, State of Wisconsin Investment Board bought a new position in Avista during the third quarter valued at $14,734,000. 77.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Avista Company Profile

Avista Corporation is an electric and natural gas utility company. The Company operates through two segments: Avista Utilities, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P). The Company’s regional services include government and higher education, medical services, retail trade and finance. The Company’s businesses also include sheet metal fabrication, venture fund investments, real estate investments, a company that explores markets that could be served with liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as certain other investments of Avista Capital, which is a subsidiary of the Company.

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