ValuEngine upgraded shares of Spark Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Thursday morning.

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on SPKE. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Spark Energy from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Spark Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $23.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. FBR & Co set a $24.00 price target on shares of Spark Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded shares of Spark Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating and lifted their price target for the company from $22.95 to $24.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Guggenheim upgraded Spark Energy from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $23.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. Spark Energy has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $23.08.

Shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) traded up 0.71% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $14.10. 132,705 shares of the stock were exchanged. Spark Energy has a 12-month low of $11.52 and a 12-month high of $23.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $185.34 million, a P/E ratio of 19.42 and a beta of -1.59. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $15.92 and its 200-day moving average price is $18.27.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.16 by ($0.15). Spark Energy had a net margin of 1.68% and a return on equity of 9.13%. The business had revenue of $151.44 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $135.72 million. On average, equities research analysts expect that Spark Energy will post $0.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th were paid a dividend of $0.1813 per share. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.14%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 25th. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 107.35%.

In related news, CEO Nathan Kroeker acquired 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $26.41 per share, for a total transaction of $26,410.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $26,410. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director W Keith Maxwell III sold 6,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.01, for a total value of $142,868.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 689,380 shares in the company, valued at $14,483,873.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have acquired 163,494 shares of company stock worth $2,638,265 and have sold 158,342 shares worth $3,322,922. 66.89% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of SPKE. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Spark Energy by 118.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,220,209 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $22,941,000 after acquiring an additional 661,547 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 85.0% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,226,430 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $23,057,000 after purchasing an additional 563,480 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 108.7% during the 2nd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,065,211 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $20,026,000 after purchasing an additional 554,707 shares during the period. Crow Point Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 68.1% during the 2nd quarter. Crow Point Partners LLC now owns 1,022,954 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $20,203,000 after purchasing an additional 414,395 shares during the period. Finally, LSV Asset Management raised its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 90.6% during the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 823,992 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $15,491,000 after purchasing an additional 391,646 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 35.98% of the company’s stock.

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.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE)

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