Westar Energy Inc (WR) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” by Analysts

Shares of Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the seven analysts that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $55.75.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on WR. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Westar Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, September 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $58.00 target price on Westar Energy and gave the stock 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 issued a “buy” rating and a $57.00 target price on the stock.

Westar Energy (WR) opened at $52.25 on Wednesday. Westar Energy has a 1 year low of $49.20 and a 1 year high of $57.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $7,420.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.68, a PEG ratio of 6.05 and a beta of 0.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 1.07.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.20 by ($0.09). Westar Energy had a net margin of 13.32% and a return on equity of 8.94%. The firm had revenue of $794.33 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $773.96 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.09 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Westar Energy will post 2.45 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 8th were issued a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 7th. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is 66.39%.

In other news, CEO Mark A. Ruelle sold 37,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on 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 the SEC website. Also, SVP Greg A. Greenwood sold 8,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.92, for a total value of $436,752.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 55,100 shares of company stock worth $2,991,312 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Ffcm LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westar Energy in the third quarter worth $113,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its position in Westar Energy by 6.6% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 3,240 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $171,000 after purchasing an additional 202 shares during the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acquired a new stake in Westar Energy during the third quarter valued at $212,000. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd boosted its position in Westar Energy by 18.3% during the second quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 5,089 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $269,000 after purchasing an additional 789 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its position in Westar Energy by 115.9% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 5,368 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $285,000 after purchasing an additional 2,882 shares during the last quarter. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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