Spark Energy, Inc. (SPKE) Downgraded to “Hold” at BidaskClub

BidaskClub downgraded shares of Spark Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPKE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, July 12th.

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. FBR & Co set a $24.00 price objective on Spark Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Guggenheim raised Spark Energy from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $23.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded Spark Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating and upped their price objective for the company from $22.95 to $24.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Wunderlich upped their price objective on Spark Energy from $22.00 to $27.50 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, June 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Spark Energy from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $23.08.

Shares of Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) traded down 13.32% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $17.90. 235,418 shares of the company were exchanged. Spark Energy has a one year low of $11.52 and a one year high of $23.65. The stock has a market cap of $232.68 million, a PE ratio of 36.09 and a beta of -1.62. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $20.65 and its 200-day moving average is $17.42.

Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE) last posted its earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.01 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.16 by $0.15. The company had revenue of $151.44 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $135.72 million. Spark Energy had a return on equity of 9.11% and a net margin of 1.68%. Equities research analysts anticipate that Spark Energy will post $1.24 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th will be given a dividend of $0.1813 per share. This represents a $0.73 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.05%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 25th. Spark Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 107.35%.

Spark Energy declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Wednesday, May 24th that allows the company to buyback $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the utilities provider to repurchase up to 19.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director W Keith Maxwell III sold 22,218 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.12, for a total value of $469,244.16. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 696,180 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,703,321.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Nathan Kroeker sold 21,244 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.13, for a total value of $916,253.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 28,135 shares in the company, valued at $1,213,462.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have acquired 47,605 shares of company stock worth $1,815,426 and have sold 172,586 shares worth $4,124,016. 66.89% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank bought a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the first quarter valued at $109,000. SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its position in shares of Spark Energy by 49.4% in the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 5,743 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $183,000 after buying an additional 1,898 shares during the period. Highland Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the second quarter valued at $194,000. Federated Investors Inc. PA bought a new position in shares of Spark Energy during the second quarter valued at $194,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of Spark Energy by 63.0% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 10,528 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $198,000 after buying an additional 4,070 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 22.95% of the company’s stock.

Spark Energy Company Profile

Spark Energy, Inc is an independent retail energy services company. The Company provides residential and commercial customers across the United States with an alternative choice for their natural gas and electricity. The Company operates through two segments: Retail Natural Gas Segment and Retail Electricity Segment.

Analyst Recommendations for Spark Energy (NASDAQ:SPKE)

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