Spark Energy (SPKE) Lowered to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday 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. “

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on SPKE. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Spark Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Spark Energy from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded shares of Spark Energy from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, B. Riley downgraded shares of Spark Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating and cut their target price for the company from $23.50 to $17.00 in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Spark Energy currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $22.21.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) traded down $0.20 during trading on Friday, reaching $11.30. 106,031 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 237,689. The company has a current ratio of 1.63, a quick ratio of 1.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. Spark Energy has a 52 week low of $10.70 and a 52 week high of $23.65. The firm has a market cap of $398.24, a P/E ratio of 14.20 and a beta of -1.68.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 14th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 29th were issued a dividend of $0.1813 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 28th. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.42%. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 90.12%.

In related news, Director W Keith Maxwell III bought 4,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $12.61 per share, for a total transaction of $51,701.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 864,813 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,905,291.93. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Gil Melman sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $12.24, for a total transaction of $48,960.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 29,308 shares in the company, valued at $358,729.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have acquired a total of 102,750 shares of company stock worth $1,304,516 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 66.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its holdings in Spark Energy by 131.4% during the 3rd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 22,582 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $339,000 after buying an additional 12,824 shares during the period. GSA Capital Partners LLP raised its holdings in Spark Energy by 29.7% during the 3rd quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 129,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,940,000 after buying an additional 29,600 shares during the period. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. grew its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 29.7% during the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 95,322 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,429,000 after acquiring an additional 21,800 shares in the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH bought a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $243,000. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp bought a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $432,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 35.28% of the company’s stock.

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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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