Avista (NYSE:AVA) Shares Gap Down on Disappointing Earnings

Shares of Avista Co. (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) gapped down before the market opened on Wednesday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $42.96, but opened at $41.01. Avista shares last traded at $42.06, with a volume of 687 shares changing hands.

The utilities provider reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.17 by ($0.01). Avista had a return on equity of 7.05% and a net margin of 10.23%. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.20 earnings per share.

Avista Dividend Announcement

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 27th were given a dividend of $0.44 per share. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.09%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 26th. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is 83.81%.

Analyst Ratings Changes

Separately, Mizuho increased their price objective on shares of Avista from $43.00 to $44.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th.

Insider Activity at Avista

In related news, Chairman Scott L. Morris sold 7,627 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total value of $335,588.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 130,398 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,737,512. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.94% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Avista by 1.7% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,373,667 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $378,072,000 after acquiring an additional 142,693 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Avista by 27.0% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,311,667 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $149,522,000 after acquiring an additional 704,947 shares during the period. Nuance Investments LLC grew its position in shares of Avista by 16.6% in the 1st quarter. Nuance Investments LLC now owns 3,070,548 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $138,635,000 after acquiring an additional 438,206 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. grew its position in shares of Avista by 8.8% in the 4th quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,993,333 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $84,696,000 after acquiring an additional 161,687 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of Avista by 8.1% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,833,973 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $82,803,000 after acquiring an additional 137,558 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 82.47% of the company’s stock.

Avista Trading Up 2.3 %

The business’s 50 day moving average price is $42.18 and its 200-day moving average price is $43.34. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05. The company has a market cap of $3.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.49, a PEG ratio of 3.77 and a beta of 0.53.

About Avista

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Avista Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, 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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