Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The firm presently has a $10.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 7.64% from the stock’s current price.

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 research reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Spark Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. B. Riley cut their price target on shares of Spark Energy from $11.00 to $10.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Spark Energy from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $10.00.

Spark Energy stock traded down $0.12 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $9.29. 240 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 74,252. Spark Energy has a 12 month low of $7.20 and a 12 month high of $12.70. The firm has a market cap of $325.12 million, a PE ratio of -13.46 and a beta of -0.55. The company has a current ratio of 2.06, a quick ratio of 2.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54.

In related news, CEO Nathan Kroeker sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.90, for a total transaction of $49,500.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 95,449 shares in the company, valued at $944,945.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 67.63% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SPKE. Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new position in shares of Spark Energy in the 4th quarter valued at $84,000. Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake in Spark Energy by 44.1% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 15,169 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 4,640 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in shares of Spark Energy by 13.5% in the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 15,446 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 1,840 shares during the last quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Spark Energy in the 4th quarter worth about $145,000. Finally, Hancock Whitney Corp bought a new stake in shares of Spark Energy in the 4th quarter worth about $153,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 32.32% of the company’s stock.

Spark Energy Company Profile

Spark Energy, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as an independent retail energy services company in the United States. It operates through two segments, Retail Electricity and Retail Natural Gas. The company is involved in the retail distribution of electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers.

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