Avista (AVA) Files for Gas Cost Adjustment for Idaho Clients

Avista Corporation AVA has filed its annual Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC). The new gas rates, on approval, will come into effect on Nov 1, 2019.

If the request is approved, Avista’s residential natural gas customers in Idaho using average of 64 therms per month would see their monthly bill to increase 4.8% to $47.62 per month. The approval will increase natural gas revenues of the company by $3.3 million.

These annual filings have no impact on Avista’s earnings, as the PGA is filed each year to balance the actual cost of wholesale natural gas purchased by the company to serve customers. The latest rate application has been issued to cover up higher wholesale natural gas prices in the 2018-2019 winter season. The increased prices were caused, in part, by a Canadian pipeline disruption that restricted natural gas flows into the Pacific Northwest.

Increasing Usage of Natural Gas
Natural Gas’ clean burning nature and availability are increasing its popularity in the United States. Per a U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) report, the consumption of natural gas will increase in the United States by 3.1% year over year to 84.65 billion cubic feet per day in 2019.

Long-Term Plans

Avista has been investing consistently to improve the quality of services that it provides to electric and natural gas customers. After spending $428 million in 2018, the company aims to invest $1.65 billion in the 2019-2022 time period. Effective regulatory outcomes in its service territories allow Avista to recoup investments.

These investments will help the company to achieve the target of serving customers with 100% clean electricity by 2045.

Price Performance

Shares of Avista have outperformed its industry in the past six months.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Avista has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Alliant Energy Corporation LNT, IDACORP Inc. IDA and NRG Energy Inc. NRG, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Alliant Energy, IDACORP and NRG Energy’s long-term (three to five years) earnings growth is projected at 5.54%, 3.85% and 36.26%, respectively. Alliant Energy’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 has moved up 0.5% in the past 90 days.

IDACORP and NRG Energy’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 has moved up 0.2% and 4.9%, respectively, in the past 30 days.

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