Avista: A Safe Bet in Utilities

Sep.25.09 | About: Avista Corporation (AVA)

Even with the recent market pull back I still feel that utilities are a safe bet, Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA) among them. This stock is a position in my Marketocracy New High Fund and followed on my blog Financial Tides.

AVA is a diversified energy company with operations throughout the US. With both regulated and non-regulated energy businesses plus some other non-regulated businesses they seem to be well diversified. Their main utilities divisions distribute electricity from hydroelectric and thermal sources. The non-regulated businesses are in metal fabrication, expense management systems for utilities and real estate.

The electric operations are mainly in the northwest US where they have competition from IdaCorp (NYSE:IDA) and PG&E (NYSE:PCG).

The stock is covered by 5 analyst with 3 rating a STRONG BUY and the other 2 a HOLD. The consensus is for sales growth of 5.3% next year and 8.7% over the next 5 years.

On a technical analysis basis BarChart rated the stock an 88% BUY with 11 of 13 TA indicators at BUY and 2 at HOLD. AVA has hit 4 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and recently 2 in the last 5. The last 65 days has shown a 15.8% price increase.

RECOMMENDATION: BUY around 20.5 with a stop loss at 19.50.

Disclosure: I hold no physical positions in any of the stocks I blog about but hold them in Marketocracy portfolios for accountability.