Spark Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) shot up 10.1% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $28.16 and last traded at $27.93, with a volume of 258,148 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $25.37.

A number of research firms have issued reports on SPKE. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded Spark Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. FBR & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Spark Energy in a research note on Thursday. Wunderlich boosted their price target on Spark Energy from $30.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Spark Energy from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $26.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, April 22nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Spark Energy has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.20.

The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $27.71 and its 200 day moving average price is $26.60. The company has a market capitalization of $152.09 million and a P/E ratio of 15.05.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 13th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 29th will be paid a $0.3625 dividend. This represents a $1.45 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 25th.

In other news, Director W Keith Maxwell III sold 31,147 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.28, for a total value of $943,131.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 92,850 shares in the company, valued at $2,811,498. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Spark Energy stock. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Spark Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) by 20.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 63,693 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 10,600 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. owned 2.06% of Spark Energy worth $1,320,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Spark Energy, Inc is an independent retail energy services company. The Company provides residential and commercial customers in United States with an alternative for their natural gas and electricity. The Company operates in two segments: Retail Natural Gas Segment and Retail Electricity Segment. It operates in approximately 50 utility service territories across over 20 states and has approximately 328,000 residential customers and over 19,000 commercial customers, which translates to approximately 415,000 renewable energy credits (RCEs).

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