Spark Energy (NASDAQ: SPKE) is one of 85 public companies in the “Electric Utilities” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Spark Energy to related companies based on the strength of its risk, dividends, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and institutional ownership.

Volatility and Risk

Spark Energy has a beta of -1.59, indicating that its stock price is 259% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Spark Energy’s peers have a beta of 0.70, indicating that their average stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Spark Energy and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Spark Energy $674.51 million $93.69 million 21.84
Spark Energy Competitors $7.19 billion $2.12 billion 30.34

Spark Energy’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than Spark Energy. Spark Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Spark Energy and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Spark Energy 0 2 3 0 2.60
Spark Energy Competitors 700 3257 2455 52 2.29

Spark Energy presently has a consensus target price of $23.10, indicating a potential upside of 55.56%. As a group, “Electric Utilities” companies have a potential upside of 5.33%. Given Spark Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Spark Energy is more favorable than its peers.

Profitability

This table compares Spark Energy and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Spark Energy 1.68% 9.13% 3.03%
Spark Energy Competitors -10.82% 3.51% 0.54%

Dividends

Spark Energy pays an annual dividend of $0.73 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.9%. Spark Energy pays out 107.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Electric Utilities” companies pay a dividend yield of 3.2% and pay out 103.5% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

36.0% of Spark Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.5% of shares of all “Electric Utilities” companies are held by institutional investors. 66.9% of Spark Energy shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of shares of all “Electric Utilities” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Spark Energy beats its peers on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About Spark Energy

Spark Energy, Inc. is an independent retail energy services company. The Company provides residential and commercial customers across the United States with an alternative choice for their natural gas and electricity. The Company operates through two segments: Retail Natural Gas Segment and Retail Electricity Segment. The Retail Natural Gas segment consists of natural gas sales to, and natural gas transportation and distribution for, residential and commercial customers. It purchases natural gas supply through physical and financial transactions with market counterparts and supplies natural gas to residential and commercial consumers pursuant to fixed-price and variable-price. The Retail Electricity segment consists of electricity sales and transmission to residential and commercial customers. The Company has approximately 774,000 renewable energy credits (RCEs). As of July 5, 2017, the Company operates in 94 utility service territories across 19 states and the District of Columbia.

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