Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $11.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock.

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 have also recently issued reports on SPKE. BidaskClub upgraded Spark Energy from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, September 27th. ValuEngine cut Spark Energy from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd.

Spark Energy stock traded down $0.17 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $9.57. The stock had a trading volume of 46,996 shares, compared to its average volume of 61,544. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $9.94 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $10.26. The stock has a market capitalization of $340.54 million, a PE ratio of -13.88 and a beta of -0.34. Spark Energy has a 12 month low of $7.20 and a 12 month high of $11.71. The company has a current ratio of 1.45, a quick ratio of 1.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.82.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.02 by $0.11. Spark Energy had a positive return on equity of 9.29% and a negative net margin of 0.30%. The firm had revenue of $177.75 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $253.05 million. Sell-side analysts expect that Spark Energy will post -0.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director W Keith Maxwell III bought 8,220 shares of Spark Energy stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 28th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $9.80 per share, for a total transaction of $80,556.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 2,600,000 shares in the company, valued at $25,480,000. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In the last 90 days, insiders have acquired 56,268 shares of company stock worth $574,846. Company insiders own 66.98% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Walleye Trading Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Spark Energy during the second quarter worth about $115,000. Walleye Trading LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Spark Energy during the second quarter worth about $112,000. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 60.6% during the second quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 69,679 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $780,000 after purchasing an additional 26,301 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 36.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 678,683 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,595,000 after purchasing an additional 180,633 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 6.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 990,906 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,088,000 after purchasing an additional 56,151 shares during the period. 29.22% 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 engages in the retail distribution of electricity and natural gas to residential and commercial customers.

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