Nomura Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor purchased 15,664 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $667,000.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in AVA. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund bought a new position in shares of Avista in the 4th quarter valued at $25,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc bought a new position in Avista during the 4th quarter worth $26,000. First Hawaiian Bank bought a new position in Avista during the 4th quarter worth $66,000. Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new position in Avista during the 4th quarter worth $148,000. Finally, Rehmann Capital Advisory Group raised its position in Avista by 4,958.2% during the 3rd quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 7,992 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $158,000 after purchasing an additional 7,834 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.69% of the company’s stock.

In other news, Director R John Taylor sold 2,600 shares of Avista stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.45, for a total value of $107,770.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP David J. Meyer sold 1,437 shares of Avista stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.34, for a total value of $59,405.58. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 2,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $99,050.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 50,636 shares of company stock valued at $2,070,250. Corporate insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:AVA opened at $41.45 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $2.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.64 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 0.54 and a quick ratio of 0.44. Avista Corp has a 12-month low of $39.75 and a 12-month high of $52.91.

Avista (NYSE:AVA) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $372.22 million during the quarter. Avista had a return on equity of 7.79% and a net margin of 9.77%. Analysts expect that Avista Corp will post 2.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 22nd were given a $0.3875 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 21st. This is a positive change from Avista’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.74%. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 73.46%.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on AVA shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 target price on shares of Avista in a research report on Friday, February 8th. Williams Capital raised Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $40.00 to $41.00 in a research report on Friday, January 4th. TheStreet lowered Avista from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Avista from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 11th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.50.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)

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