Shares of Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) have earned an average rating of “Buy” from the seven analysts that are covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and five have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $55.75.
Several brokerages have recently issued reports on WR. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $57.00 price objective on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Westar Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 2nd.
Shares of Westar Energy (WR) traded down $0.73 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $54.35. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 555,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 766,475. Westar Energy has a one year low of $49.20 and a one year high of $57.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 1.07. The firm has a market capitalization of $7,826.55, a P/E ratio of 22.85, a PEG ratio of 6.63 and a beta of 0.42.
Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $1.11 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 company 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 earned $1.09 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Westar Energy will post 2.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 7th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.94%. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is 66.39%.
In other Westar Energy news, CEO Mark A. Ruelle sold 37,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.35, for a total transaction of $2,010,950.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Larry D. Irick sold 5,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.38, for a total transaction of $271,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 55,100 shares of company stock worth $2,991,312 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WR. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 365.2% during the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,057,368 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $215,122,000 after buying an additional 3,185,194 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Westar Energy by 19.3% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,587,206 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $879,454,000 after acquiring an additional 2,679,597 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Westar Energy by 270.4% during the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,681,339 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $89,148,000 after acquiring an additional 1,227,431 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Westar Energy by 8,831.1% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,169,889 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $62,028,000 after acquiring an additional 1,156,790 shares during the period. Finally, Balyasny Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Westar Energy during the second quarter valued at $27,810,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.
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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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