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Avista (AVA) Rewards Investors with 4% Dividend Increase

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Avista CorporationAVA announced that its board of directors has approved a 3.8% hike in its quarterly common stock dividend, bringing the annualized payout to $1.37 per share.

The raised dividend of 34.25 cents, up from the prior payment of 33 cents, will be effective from the first quarter of 2016. This amount will be paid on Mar 15, 2016 to shareholders of record as on Feb 2, 2016.

This marks the 14th consecutive annual hike in dividend for shareholders of the company, the last one being in Feb 2015.

The latest increase in the dividend rate speaks volumes about the company's financial strength. As of Sep 30, 2015, Avista had about $400 million committed line of credit, with $130 million in cash borrowing and $43.8 million in letters of credit outstanding. This leaves $226.2 million of available liquidity under this line of credit.

Moreover, its sustained investment strategy continues to provide benefits. In the first nine months of 2015, Avista Utilities spent $269.7 million as capital investment. During its third-quarter earnings call, the company said that it was expecting to spend about $375 million in 2015, $375 million in 2016 and $400 million in 2017. Also, the company expects to issue about $55 million of common stock in 2016 to fund capital expenditures and maintain an appropriate capital structure.

Avista is a diversified energy company with utility and subsidiary operations located throughout North America. Avista also operates Avista Capital, which owns all the company's non-regulated energy and non-energy businesses. The energy company is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses.

Zacks Rank

Avista currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the power sector include Korean Electric Power KEP , Calpine Corp. CPN and Northwestern Corporation NWE . While both Korean Electric and Calpine sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Northwestern Corporation carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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