Shares of Spark Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the nine brokerages that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year target price among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $23.10.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Spark Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. FBR & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $18.50 price target (up from $16.50) on shares of Spark Energy in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Spark Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services lifted their price target on shares of Spark Energy from $16.50 to $17.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Spark Energy from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Monday, May 8th.

In other news, CEO Nathan Kroeker purchased 1,775 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $26.30 per share, for a total transaction of $46,682.50. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $26,300. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director W Keith Maxwell III sold 6,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.01, for a total transaction 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 purchased 5,025 shares of company stock worth $120,208 and have sold 154,342 shares worth $3,259,362. 66.89% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SPKE. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in Spark Energy by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 109,975 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,332,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Highland Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Spark Energy during the second quarter worth $194,000. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC boosted its position in Spark Energy by 16.5% in the first quarter. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC now owns 21,791 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $696,000 after buying an additional 3,081 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in Spark Energy by 5.0% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 192,670 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,157,000 after buying an additional 9,196 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its position in Spark Energy by 100.0% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 26,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $500,000 after buying an additional 13,300 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 35.98% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ SPKE) traded down 1.4984% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $15.6125. 56,508 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $18.86 and its 200-day moving average is $17.91. The firm has a market cap of $205.23 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.5048 and a beta of -1.62. Spark Energy has a 52-week low of $11.53 and a 52-week high of $23.65.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.01 earnings per share 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 company had revenue of $151.44 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $135.72 million. Equities research analysts predict that Spark Energy will post $0.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Spark Energy declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 24th that permits the company to buyback $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the utilities provider to purchase up to 19.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th will be given a dividend of $0.1813 per share. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.57%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 25th. Spark Energy’s payout ratio is presently 107.35%.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE)

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