Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 600,588 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 3,226 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.42% of Westar Energy worth $29,789,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of WR. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in Westar Energy by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 90,083 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,468,000 after purchasing an additional 1,104 shares in the last quarter. Rockland Trust Co. lifted its holdings in Westar Energy by 7.8% in the 3rd quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 154,770 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,677,000 after purchasing an additional 11,211 shares in the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Westar Energy in the 3rd quarter worth $1,601,000. Forsta AP Fonden acquired a new stake in shares of Westar Energy in the 3rd quarter worth $3,055,000. Finally, State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 223,083 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,065,000 after acquiring an additional 1,610 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.66% of the company’s stock.
A number of brokerages recently issued reports on WR. Zacks Investment Research raised Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded Westar Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, October 2nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $58.00 target price on Westar Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Bank of America began coverage on Westar Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $57.00 target price for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.75.
In other news, CEO Mark A. Ruelle sold 37,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.35, for a total value of $2,010,950.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.53, for a total value of $163,590.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 55,100 shares of company stock valued at $2,991,312 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Westar Energy Inc (NYSE WR) traded down $0.34 during trading on Monday, reaching $56.54. The company had a trading volume of 300,228 shares, compared to its average volume of 767,387. Westar Energy Inc has a 12 month low of $49.20 and a 12 month high of $57.50. The stock has a market cap of $8,082.32, a PE ratio of 23.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.85 and a beta of 0.42. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97.
Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by ($0.09). The firm had revenue of $794.33 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $773.96 million. Westar Energy had a net margin of 13.32% and a return on equity of 8.94%. The business’s revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.09 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Westar Energy Inc will post 2.45 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 7th. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is presently 66.39%.
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About Westar Energy
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.
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