Texas Permanent School Fund decreased its position in shares of Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) by 7.4% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 43,540 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 3,483 shares during the period. Texas Permanent School Fund’s holdings in Avista were worth $2,242,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. grew its stake in shares of Avista by 3.3% during the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 5,653 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $240,000 after purchasing an additional 183 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in Avista by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 13,189 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $559,000 after acquiring an additional 285 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in Avista by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 41,594 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,766,000 after acquiring an additional 353 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in 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 acquiring an additional 403 shares during the period. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its stake in 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 acquiring an additional 599 shares during the period. 77.99% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other Avista news, insider Jason R. Thackston sold 1,500 shares of Avista stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.58, for a total transaction of $77,370.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 22,974 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,184,998.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director R John Taylor sold 932 shares of Avista stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.94, for a total transaction of $48,408.08. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 655 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,020.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Shares of Avista Corp (NYSE AVA) opened at $49.77 on Tuesday. Avista Corp has a one year low of $38.35 and a one year high of $52.83. The stock has a market cap of $3,247.81, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.48 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a quick ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 0.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92.

The business 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 $0.3725 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $1.49 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.99%. This is a boost from Avista’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Avista’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 71.86%.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on AVA shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Avista from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Avista in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Avista from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.75.

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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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