ValuEngine upgraded shares of Spark Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday.

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on SPKE. 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 report on Monday, June 12th. Janney Montgomery Scott lowered shares of Spark Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating and upped their price target for the company from $22.95 to $24.00 in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Guggenheim upgraded shares of Spark Energy from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $23.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, July 7th. FBR & Co set a $24.00 price target on shares of Spark Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 10th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Spark Energy from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Spark Energy currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $23.08.

Shares of Spark Energy (SPKE) opened at 14.10 on Thursday. Spark Energy has a 52-week low of $11.52 and a 52-week high of $23.65. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $15.92 and its 200 day moving average is $18.27. The firm has a market capitalization of $185.34 million, a PE ratio of 19.42 and a beta of -1.59.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.01 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $151.44 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $135.72 million. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Spark Energy will post $0.89 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th were issued a $0.1813 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 25th. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.14%. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 107.35%.

In other Spark Energy news, Director W Keith Maxwell III bought 47,779 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $15.26 per share, with a total value of $729,107.54. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 743,959 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,352,814.34. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Nathan Kroeker bought 1,000 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $26,410. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders acquired 163,494 shares of company stock valued at $2,638,265 and sold 158,342 shares valued at $3,322,922. 66.89% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Highland Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Spark Energy in the 2nd quarter worth about $194,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its position in shares of Spark Energy by 892.6% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 14,561 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $274,000 after buying an additional 13,094 shares during the period. Bard Associates Inc. grew its position in shares of Spark Energy by 98.8% in the 2nd quarter. Bard Associates Inc. now owns 182,330 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,428,000 after buying an additional 90,615 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Spark Energy by 100.0% in the 2nd 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 period. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale grew its position in shares of Spark Energy by 379.8% in the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 83,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,565,000 after buying an additional 65,781 shares during the period. 35.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE)

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