Spark Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Tuesday . Approximately 278,191 shares were traded during trading, a decline of 2% from the previous session’s volume of 283,174 shares.The stock last traded at $27.03 and had previously closed at $26.48.

A number of equities analysts have commented on SPKE shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Spark Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Janney Montgomery Scott cut Spark Energy from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $34.00 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, June 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. FBR & Co increased their target price on Spark Energy from $27.00 to $32.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 6th. Wunderlich increased their target price on Spark Energy from $22.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, May 6th. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann started coverage on Spark Energy in a report on Friday, August 19th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $27.00 target price for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $30.50.

The company has a market capitalization of $182.32 million and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.38. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $26.56 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.66.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 13th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 29th will be issued a $0.3625 dividend. This represents a $1.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.06%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 25th.

In other Spark Energy news, Director W Keith Maxwell III sold 12,700 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.00, for a total value of $419,100.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 92,850 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,064,050. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in Spark Energy stock. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Spark Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) by 20.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 63,693 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 10,600 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. owned about 2.06% of Spark Energy worth $1,320,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

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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