Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released 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. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on SPKE. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Spark Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. B. Riley reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Spark Energy in a research note on Wednesday, November 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $12.58.

Shares of SPKE stock opened at $8.18 on Friday. Spark Energy has a 52 week low of $7.33 and a 52 week high of $13.95. The company has a current ratio of 2.36, a quick ratio of 2.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01. The firm has a market capitalization of $303.79 million, a PE ratio of 16.13 and a beta of -1.48.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.27 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.04) by $0.31. Spark Energy had a net margin of 1.38% and a return on equity of 11.17%. The business had revenue of $258.48 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $240.69 million. On average, equities analysts expect that Spark Energy will post -0.22 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director W Keith Maxwell III purchased 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 19th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $8.25 per share, with a total value of $41,250.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 996,222 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,218,831.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Gil Melman sold 15,862 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.75, for a total transaction of $138,792.50. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 1,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,625. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have purchased a total of 316,960 shares of company stock worth $2,699,721 in the last ninety days. 66.89% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Spark Energy by 8.5% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 392,598 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,828,000 after buying an additional 30,834 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC increased its stake in Spark Energy by 175.5% during the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 574,173 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,598,000 after buying an additional 365,786 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Spark Energy by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 967,722 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,435,000 after buying an additional 27,423 shares during the period. Spark Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Spark Energy by 19.4% during the 2nd quarter. Spark Investment Management LLC now owns 372,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,635,000 after buying an additional 60,600 shares during the period. Finally, Mizuho Securities USA LLC purchased a new stake in Spark Energy during the 2nd quarter worth $197,000. 31.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Spark Energy

Spark Energy, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as an independent retail energy services company in the United States. It operates through two segments, Retail Electricity and Retail Natural Gas. The company is involved in the retail distribution of electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers.

Read More: What are the risks of holding treasury bonds?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Spark Energy (SPKE)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Spark Energy Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Spark Energy and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.