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JimVanMeerten (61.58)

Avista Corp (AVA) - safe bet in utilities

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September 24, 2009 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: AVA

Even with the recent market pull back I still feel that utilities are a safe bet, Avista Corp (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 (IDA) and PG&E (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.

Jim Van Meerten is a full time investor and blogs on Financial Tides, MSN Top Stock Blogs and Seeking Alpha. Please leave your comments below or at FinancialTides@gmail.com

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

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