Media stories about Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) have trended somewhat positive on Monday, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research firm scores the sentiment of news coverage by reviewing more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Spark Energy earned a news sentiment score of 0.10 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave news stories about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.0224994120123 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

These are some of the news stories that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) traded up 0.30% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $16.55. The stock had a trading volume of 86,917 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $17.40 and a 200-day moving average of $18.11. The stock has a market cap of $217.55 million, a P/E ratio of 22.80 and a beta of -1.57. Spark Energy has a 52-week low of $11.52 and a 52-week high of $23.65.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last posted 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). The business had revenue of $151.44 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $135.72 million. Spark Energy had a net margin of 1.68% and a return on equity of 9.13%. On average, analysts forecast that Spark Energy will post $0.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 29th were issued a $0.1813 dividend. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 25th. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 107.35%.

Spark Energy declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 24th that allows the company to repurchase $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the utilities provider to buy up to 19.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

SPKE has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. FBR & Co lifted their price target on Spark Energy from $18.50 to $23.50 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, June 1st. Guggenheim upgraded Spark Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, July 7th. Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded 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 report on Thursday, June 22nd. Wunderlich lifted their price target on Spark Energy from $22.00 to $27.50 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Spark Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Spark Energy has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $23.08.

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In other Spark Energy news, Director W Keith Maxwell III bought 47,779 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 8th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $15.26 per share, with a total value of $729,107.54. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 743,959 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,352,814.34. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Nathan Kroeker bought 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $26.41 per share, for a total transaction of $26,410.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $26,410. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders purchased 105,144 shares of company stock worth $1,666,888 and sold 154,342 shares worth $3,259,362. Corporate insiders own 66.89% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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