Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Spark Energy (SPKE) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

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. “

SPKE has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Spark Energy from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, September 29th. B. Riley set a $11.00 price target on shares of Spark Energy and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, August 6th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $12.58.

NASDAQ SPKE traded up $0.03 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $9.22. The company had a trading volume of 179,872 shares, compared to its average volume of 141,518. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 2.36 and a quick ratio of 2.18. The firm has a market capitalization of $330.99 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.57 and a beta of -1.48. Spark Energy has a fifty-two week low of $7.33 and a fifty-two week high of $13.95.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.04) by $0.31. The company had revenue of $258.48 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $240.69 million. Spark Energy had a net margin of 1.38% and a return on equity of 11.17%. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Spark Energy will post -0.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.1813 per share. This represents a $0.73 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 7.86%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 29th. Spark Energy’s payout ratio is -152.08%.

In other Spark Energy news, Director W Keith Maxwell III acquired 97,380 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $8.89 per share, with a total value of $865,708.20. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 1,225,831 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,897,637.59. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Gil Melman sold 15,862 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.75, for a total transaction of $138,792.50. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 1,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,625. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 277,478 shares of company stock valued at $2,337,792 over the last ninety days. 66.89% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Spark Energy by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,022,946 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,440,000 after acquiring an additional 11,585 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Spark Energy by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 967,722 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,435,000 after acquiring an additional 27,423 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Spark Energy by 175.5% during the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 574,173 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,598,000 after acquiring an additional 365,786 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Spark Energy by 8.5% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 392,598 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,828,000 after acquiring an additional 30,834 shares during the period. Finally, Spark Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Spark Energy by 19.4% during the 2nd quarter. Spark Investment Management LLC now owns 372,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,635,000 after acquiring an additional 60,600 shares during the period. 32.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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