Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Spark Energy, Inc. is an independent retail energy services company. It provides residential and commercial customers across the United States with an alternative choice for their natural gas and electricity. The company is involved in the retail distribution of natural gas and electricity. It also offers renewable and carbon neutral products. Spark Energy, Inc. is headquartered in Houston, Texas. “

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Spark Energy from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded shares of Spark Energy from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. ValuEngine cut shares of Spark Energy from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, B. Riley cut shares of Spark Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $23.50 to $17.00 in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $22.21.

Shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) opened at $9.70 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 1.63 and a quick ratio of 1.58. Spark Energy has a one year low of $9.20 and a one year high of $23.65. The firm has a market cap of $335.91, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.98 and a beta of -1.88.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 16th. Investors of record on Friday, March 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.1813 per share. This represents a $0.73 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.47%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 1st. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 90.12%.

In related news, Director W Keith Maxwell III bought 7,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $11.88 per share, with a total value of $85,536.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 952,122 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,311,209.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Gil Melman sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $12.24, for a total transaction of $48,960.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 29,308 shares in the company, valued at approximately $358,729.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have purchased 101,750 shares of company stock worth $1,292,716 in the last ninety days. 66.89% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in Spark Energy by 159.5% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 10,716 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $201,000 after acquiring an additional 6,586 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP bought a new position in Spark Energy during the fourth quarter worth $136,000. Citadel Advisors LLC bought a new position in Spark Energy during the second quarter worth $237,000. Rhumbline Advisers bought a new position in Spark Energy during the second quarter worth $243,000. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in Spark Energy by 37.1% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 13,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $250,000 after acquiring an additional 3,600 shares during the period. 34.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Spark Energy Company Profile

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.

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