Spark Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Janney Montgomery Scott from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They currently have a $24.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their previous price target of $22.95. Janney Montgomery Scott’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 5.96% from the stock’s current price.

SPKE has been the subject of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Spark Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 9th. FBR & Co reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Spark Energy in a report on Monday, March 6th. TheStreet raised Spark Energy from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, May 8th. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services boosted their price objective on Spark Energy from $16.50 to $17.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 9th. Finally, Wunderlich boosted their price objective on Spark Energy from $22.00 to $27.50 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 12th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.58.

Analyst Recommendations for Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE)

Shares of Spark Energy (SPKE) opened at 22.65 on Thursday. Spark Energy has a 12 month low of $21.95 and a 12 month high of $47.05. The stock has a market cap of $294.43 million, a PE ratio of 45.67 and a beta of -1.67. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $38.64 and a 200-day moving average price of $31.92.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.21. The company had revenue of $194.35 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $140.07 million. Spark Energy had a net margin of 2.10% and a return on equity of 11.82%. Equities analysts forecast that Spark Energy will post $1.41 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 30th were issued a $0.1813 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 25th. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.20%. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 89.02%.

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In other Spark Energy news, Director W Keith Maxwell III purchased 12,638 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $36.62 per share, for a total transaction of $462,803.56. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 323,348 shares in the company, valued at $11,841,003.76. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Nathan Kroeker sold 21,244 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.13, for a total value of $916,253.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 28,135 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,213,462.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders bought 47,355 shares of company stock valued at $1,811,001. Insiders own 66.89% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 1.1% in the first quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 8,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $284,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 1.2% in the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 29,239 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $934,000 after buying an additional 349 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 109,975 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,332,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Bard Associates Inc. raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 0.8% in the first quarter. Bard Associates Inc. now owns 91,715 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,930,000 after buying an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 6.4% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 13,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $403,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 39.38% of the company’s stock.

About Spark Energy

Spark Energy, Inc is an independent retail energy services company. The Company provides residential and commercial customers in 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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