Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $11.00 price target 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 research analysts have also recently commented on SPKE. BidaskClub cut shares of Spark Energy from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Saturday, January 19th. ValuEngine raised shares of Spark Energy from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. Finally, B. Riley lowered their price target on shares of Spark Energy from $11.00 to $10.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $13.00.

NASDAQ:SPKE opened at $9.39 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 2.06, a quick ratio of 2.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54. The company has a market capitalization of $328.10 million, a P/E ratio of -13.61 and a beta of -0.55. Spark Energy has a 12 month low of $7.20 and a 12 month high of $12.70.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Investors of record on Friday, May 31st will be issued a $0.181 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 30th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend 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 shares were sold at an average price of $9.90, for a total value of $49,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 95,449 shares in the company, valued at approximately $944,945.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 67.63% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 59.1% during the 1st quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 28,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $251,000 after purchasing an additional 10,480 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 2.4% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 146,147 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,085,000 after purchasing an additional 3,459 shares during the period. Hancock Whitney Corp bought a new stake in shares of Spark Energy during the 4th quarter valued at $153,000. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Spark Energy during the 4th quarter valued at $145,000. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE raised its position in shares of Spark Energy by 13.5% during the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 15,446 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $114,000 after purchasing an additional 1,840 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 32.39% of the company’s stock.

Spark Energy Company Profile

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.

Featured Article: Bond

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.