Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) Getting Somewhat Positive News Coverage, Study Shows

Media stories about Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) have been trending somewhat positive recently, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research firm scores the sentiment of media coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Westar Energy earned a news sentiment score of 0.19 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media stories about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.600062674739 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the near future.

Here are some of the news articles that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s analysis:

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) opened at 53.37 on Friday. Westar Energy has a 12 month low of $49.20 and a 12 month high of $57.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.42 and a beta of 0.39. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $51.09 and its 200 day moving average price is $51.80.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.06). Westar Energy had a return on equity of 8.87% and a net margin of 13.33%. The business had revenue of $609.32 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $633.96 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.51 EPS. Analysts expect that Westar Energy will post $2.49 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 8th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 7th. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 67.23%.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on WR shares. Evercore ISI raised Westar Energy from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price target for the company from $49.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 30th. BidaskClub lowered Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $58.00 target price on Westar Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation began coverage on Westar Energy in a research report on Tuesday. They set a “buy” rating and a $57.00 target price for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.75.

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In related news, SVP Bruce A. Akin sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $257,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Greg A. Greenwood sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total value of $510,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 31,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,611,715. 0.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Westar Energy Company Profile

Westar Energy, Inc is an electric utility. The Company provides electric generation, transmission and distribution services. The Company provides these services in central and northeastern Kansas, including the cities of Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan, Salina and Hutchinson. Its subsidiary, Kansas Gas and Electric Company (KGE), provides these services in south-central and southeastern Kansas, including the city of Wichita.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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