Spark Energy (SPKE) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday. The firm currently has $8.75 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

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. “

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Spark Energy from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, September 29th. B. Riley reiterated a hold rating on shares of Spark Energy in a research note on Wednesday, November 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $12.58.

SPKE opened at $8.00 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $281.46 million, a PE ratio of -16.67 and a beta of -0.81. Spark Energy has a 52-week low of $7.20 and a 52-week high of $13.35. The company has a quick ratio of 2.33, a current ratio of 2.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last released 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $240.69 million. Spark Energy had a return on equity of 11.17% and a net margin of 1.38%. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Spark Energy will post -0.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 14th. Investors of record on Friday, November 30th were paid a dividend of $0.1813 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 29th. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a yield of 9.06%. Spark Energy’s payout ratio is -152.08%.

In other Spark Energy news, Director W Keith Maxwell III bought 97,380 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $8.89 per share, for a total transaction of $865,708.20. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 1,225,831 shares in the company, valued at $10,897,637.59. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. In the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 174,474 shares of company stock valued at $1,570,377. 67.63% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Citadel Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Spark Energy during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $118,000. Trexquant Investment LP bought a new stake in Spark Energy during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $110,000. Baird Financial Group Inc. bought a new stake in Spark Energy during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $138,000. Jefferies Group LLC bought a new stake in Spark Energy during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $131,000. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP bought a new stake in Spark Energy during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $188,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 31.64% of the company’s stock.

About Spark Energy

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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