Spark Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) shares rose 3.9% on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $29.43 and last traded at $29.09, with a volume of 204,789 shares. The stock had previously closed at $28.01.

SPKE has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Spark Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. FBR & Co reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price target (up previously from $32.00) on shares of Spark Energy in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. 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. Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage on Spark Energy in a research note on Friday, August 19th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $27.00 price target for the company. Finally, Wunderlich increased their price target on Spark Energy from $30.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, August 12th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $30.50.

The company has a market cap of $184.40 million and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.54. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $26.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $26.67.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 13th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 29th will be paid a dividend of $0.3625 per share. This represents a $1.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.11%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 25th.

In other Spark Energy news, Director W Keith Maxwell III sold 204,962 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.38, for a total transaction of $6,431,707.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 92,850 shares in the company, valued at $2,913,633. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Spark Energy stock. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised 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 institutional investor 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 reporting period.

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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