Spark Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) VP Gil Melman sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.20, for a total transaction of $51,600.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link.

Shares of Spark Energy, Inc. (SPKE) traded down 3.63% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $17.25. 267,187 shares of the stock were exchanged. Spark Energy, Inc. has a 52-week low of $11.52 and a 52-week high of $23.65. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $20.65 and a 200-day moving average of $17.42. The stock has a market cap of $224.23 million, a PE ratio of 34.78 and a beta of -1.62.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last released its earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.01 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.15. Spark Energy had a return on equity of 9.13% and a net margin of 1.68%. The company had revenue of $151.44 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $135.72 million. Equities research analysts anticipate that Spark Energy, Inc. will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th will be issued a $0.1813 dividend. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.20%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 25th. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 107.35%.

Spark Energy announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, May 24th that allows the company to buyback $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the utilities provider to reacquire up to 19.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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SPKE has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. TheStreet upgraded shares of Spark Energy from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Wunderlich upped their price target on shares of Spark Energy from $22.00 to $27.50 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 12th. FBR & Co set a $24.00 price target on shares of Spark Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Guggenheim upgraded shares of Spark Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott set a $22.00 target price on shares of Spark Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $23.08.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SPKE. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in Spark Energy by 85.0% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,226,430 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $23,057,000 after buying an additional 563,480 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in Spark Energy by 108.7% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,065,211 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $20,026,000 after buying an additional 554,707 shares during the last quarter. Crow Point Partners LLC increased its stake in Spark Energy by 68.1% in the second quarter. Crow Point Partners LLC now owns 1,022,954 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $20,203,000 after buying an additional 414,395 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management increased its stake in Spark Energy by 90.6% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 823,992 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $15,491,000 after buying an additional 391,646 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Spark Energy by 10.8% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 558,662 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $17,849,000 after buying an additional 54,323 shares during the last quarter. 22.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE)

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