Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

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 a number of other reports. TheStreet lowered shares of Spark Energy from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Janney Montgomery Scott raised shares of Spark Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. B. Riley lowered shares of Spark Energy from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $23.50 to $17.00 in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Spark Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three 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 a consensus price target of $22.21.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ SPKE) traded down $0.20 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $11.30. 106,031 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 192,900. Spark Energy has a 1-year low of $10.70 and a 1-year high of $23.65. The company has a market capitalization of $398.25, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.95 and a beta of -1.67. The company has a current ratio of 1.63, a quick ratio of 1.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69.

In other Spark Energy news, VP Gil Melman sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $12.24, for a total value of $48,960.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 29,308 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $358,729.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director W Keith Maxwell III bought 2,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $13.55 per share, for a total transaction of $31,165.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 907,872 shares in the company, valued at $12,301,665.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders acquired 102,750 shares of company stock worth $1,304,516. Insiders own 66.89% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Federated Investors Inc. PA acquired a new stake in shares of Spark Energy in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $194,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 159.5% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 10,716 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $201,000 after purchasing an additional 6,586 shares in the last quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Spark Energy in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Citadel Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Spark Energy in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $237,000. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers acquired a new stake in shares of Spark Energy in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $243,000. 35.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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