Principal Financial Group Inc. Sells 4,208 Shares of Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA)

Principal Financial Group Inc. reduced its stake in shares of Avista Co. (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) by 0.8% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 519,620 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 4,208 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Avista were worth $22,609,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Capital Wealth Alliance LLC bought a new stake in shares of Avista in the second quarter worth about $39,000. Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Avista by 178.0% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 1,540 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,000 after purchasing an additional 986 shares during the last quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Avista in the second quarter worth about $83,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Avista in the first quarter worth about $84,000. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its stake in shares of Avista by 1,438.6% in the first quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 2,154 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $97,000 after purchasing an additional 2,014 shares during the last quarter. 83.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Avista Price Performance

AVA stock opened at $38.93 on Monday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $38.81 and a 200-day moving average price of $41.14. Avista Co. has a 52-week low of $35.72 and a 52-week high of $46.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.87, a PEG ratio of 3.95 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a current ratio of 0.68.

Avista (NYSE:AVAGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported ($0.08) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.24 by ($0.32). Avista had a net margin of 7.91% and a return on equity of 5.78%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.20 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Avista Co. will post 1.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Avista Announces Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 18th will be given a $0.44 dividend. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.52%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 17th. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 98.88%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several research firms recently issued reports on AVA. KeyCorp cut Avista from a “sector weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $33.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, November 1st. Guggenheim cut their target price on Avista from $34.00 to $33.00 in a research note on Monday, October 24th. StockNews.com upgraded shares of Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, November 5th. Finally, Mizuho lowered shares of Avista from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $44.00 to $40.00 in a report on Wednesday, November 2nd.

Avista Profile

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)

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