Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA) Shares Sold by Principal Financial Group Inc.

Principal Financial Group Inc. lessened its holdings in shares of Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA) by 4.6% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 486,567 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 23,720 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned 0.72% of Avista worth $16,602,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Avista by 71.6% during the 3rd quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 31,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,071,000 after purchasing an additional 13,100 shares in the last quarter. Tudor Investment Corp Et Al purchased a new stake in shares of Avista during the 2nd quarter worth about $569,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Avista by 14.2% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 6,946 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $253,000 after purchasing an additional 864 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd raised its stake in shares of Avista by 345.9% during the 2nd quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd now owns 1,672 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $61,000 after purchasing an additional 1,297 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Holdings Inc. raised its stake in shares of Avista by 44.6% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. now owns 29,679 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,081,000 after purchasing an additional 9,156 shares in the last quarter. 73.74% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, VP Kevin J. Christie sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.83, for a total value of $33,830.00. Also, VP David J. Meyer sold 750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.10, for a total value of $27,075.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,632 shares in the company, valued at approximately $131,115.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 2,500 shares of company stock valued at $88,273 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.98% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on AVA shares. Bank of America downgraded Avista from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $39.00 to $35.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 22nd. ValuEngine raised Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, November 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a hold rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $40.33.

AVA stock opened at $37.51 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $2.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.23 and a beta of 0.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.63. Avista Co. has a 52-week low of $32.09 and a 52-week high of $53.00. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $35.01 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $36.39.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 9th. The utilities provider reported $0.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.12 by ($0.05). Avista had a net margin of 9.31% and a return on equity of 6.19%. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.08 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Avista Co. will post 1.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.405 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 2nd. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.32%. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 93.10%.

About Avista

Avista Corporation operates as an electric and natural gas utility company. It operates through 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.

Featured Story: How Investors Use a Balance Sheet

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding AVA? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Avista Co. (NYSE:AVA).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)

Receive News & Ratings for Avista Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Avista and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.