BidaskClub cut shares of Spark Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Thursday morning.

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Spark Energy from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. FBR & Co restated an outperform rating and set a $18.50 price objective (up from $16.50) on shares of Spark Energy in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services raised their price objective on Spark Energy from $16.50 to $17.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. TheStreet upgraded Spark Energy from a c rating to a b- rating in a report on Monday, May 8th. Finally, Wunderlich lifted their price target on Spark Energy from $22.00 to $27.50 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, June 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Spark Energy has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $23.08.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ SPKE) traded up 8.05% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $20.80. 218,499 shares of the company were exchanged. Spark Energy has a 12 month low of $11.52 and a 12 month high of $23.65. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $20.86 and its 200-day moving average is $17.37. The company has a market cap of $270.38 million, a P/E ratio of 41.94 and a beta of -1.62.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.01 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.15. Spark Energy had a return on equity of 11.82% and a net margin of 2.10%. The business had revenue of $151.44 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $135.72 million. Equities analysts expect that Spark Energy will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.1813 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 25th. This represents a $0.73 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.49%. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio is 107.35%.

Spark Energy announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 24th that permits the company to buyback $50.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the utilities provider to repurchase up to 19.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, CEO Nathan Kroeker sold 21,244 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.13, for a total transaction of $916,253.72. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 28,135 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,213,462.55. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director W Keith Maxwell III purchased 12,638 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $36.62 per share, with a total value of $462,803.56. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 323,348 shares in the company, valued at $11,841,003.76. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have bought 47,605 shares of company stock valued at $1,815,426 and have sold 172,586 shares valued at $4,124,016. 66.89% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Crow Point Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 68.1% in the second quarter. Crow Point Partners LLC now owns 1,022,954 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $20,203,000 after buying an additional 414,395 shares in the last quarter. Spark Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 95.3% in the second quarter. Spark Investment Management LLC now owns 507,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,539,000 after buying an additional 247,600 shares in the last quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Spark Energy during the second quarter valued at about $4,237,000. LSV Asset Management raised its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 89.0% in the first quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 432,346 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $13,813,000 after buying an additional 203,605 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Heartland Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Spark Energy during the first quarter valued at about $6,390,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 21.61% 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 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE)

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