Spark Energy (SPKE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Spark Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 1st. B. Riley reduced their price objective on Spark Energy from $11.00 to $10.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Spark Energy from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $13.00.

Shares of Spark Energy stock opened at $9.39 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.03, a current ratio of 2.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54. Spark Energy has a 52 week low of $7.20 and a 52 week high of $12.70. The company has a market capitalization of $328.10 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -13.61 and a beta of -0.55.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 31st will be paid a $0.181 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.71%. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -105.80%.

In related news, CEO Nathan Kroeker sold 5,000 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.90, for a total transaction of $49,500.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 95,449 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $944,945.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 67.63% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SPKE. Virtu Financial LLC purchased a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $84,000. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in shares of Spark Energy by 44.1% during the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 15,169 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 4,640 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in shares of Spark Energy by 13.5% during the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 15,446 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 1,840 shares during the last quarter. Jefferies Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the third quarter valued at approximately $131,000. Finally, D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $145,000. 32.39% of the stock is currently owned by 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.

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