DA Davidson Upgrades Avista to 'Buy'

FERC cleared the company in its investigation of trading manipulation in the western energy market

DA Davidson upgrades Avista (AVA ) to buy from neutral. Analyst James Bellessa says he thinks a joint motion between Avista and FERC will carry enough weight to clear the company and Avista Energy of any energy market manipulation during the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001. Bellessa believes the recommended early resolution of the investigation will remove the uncertainty overhanging Avista since last June when the company was pulled into the FERC's investigation of energy market manipulation by Enron and its subsidiaries. Bellessa sees 67 cents 2002 earnings per share, and 86 cents for 2003; he also upped the $11 12-18 month target to $13.

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