Aperio Group LLC lifted its stake in Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) by 2.3% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 128,267 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,891 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC’s holdings in Avista were worth $6,604,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Avista by 28.8% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 599 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Avista by 16.3% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,883 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 403 shares during the last quarter. LMR Partners LLP acquired a new stake in Avista during the 3rd quarter worth $201,000. Gibson Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Avista during the 3rd quarter worth $207,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in Avista by 34.3% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $218,000 after purchasing an additional 1,080 shares during the period. 78.30% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, Director R John Taylor sold 932 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 completion of the sale, the director now owns 655 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,020.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jason R. Thackston sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.58, for a total transaction of $77,370.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 22,974 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,184,998.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Avista in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Avista from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Avista from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $47.75.

Shares of Avista Corp (AVA) opened at $50.40 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $3,250.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.33 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 0.47. Avista Corp has a 52 week low of $38.35 and a 52 week high of $52.83.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.3725 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $1.49 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.96%. This is a boost from Avista’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Avista’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.86%.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Avista (NYSE:AVA)

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