Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) Lowered to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday, March 9th.

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. “

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A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. B. Riley set a $14.00 price objective on Spark Energy and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. TheStreet raised Spark Energy from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, December 11th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Spark Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Spark Energy has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $21.79.

SPKE traded down $0.65 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $11.20. 292,137 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 261,910. The company has a market capitalization of $411.43, a PE ratio of 10.00 and a beta of -1.87. The company has a current ratio of 1.96, a quick ratio of 1.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77. Spark Energy has a 1-year low of $8.60 and a 1-year high of $23.65.

In other news, VP Gil Melman sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $12.24, for a total value of $48,960.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 29,308 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $358,729.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 66.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Spark Energy by 118.4% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,220,209 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $22,941,000 after buying an additional 661,547 shares during the last quarter. Sanders Morris Harris LLC bought a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the fourth quarter valued at about $5,646,000. Nordea Investment Management AB bought a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the third quarter valued at about $2,022,000. Heartland Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Spark Energy by 53.4% during the fourth quarter. Heartland Advisors Inc. now owns 374,350 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,642,000 after purchasing an additional 130,250 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Spark Energy by 126.3% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 209,922 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,951,000 after purchasing an additional 117,139 shares during the period. 33.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

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