Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC Takes $6.45 Million Position in Westar Energy (WR)

Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm bought 122,211 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $6,453,000. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC owned approximately 0.09% of Westar Energy as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 2.3% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,013,752 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,003,927,000 after buying an additional 433,537 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 30.1% in the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,150,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $219,120,000 after buying an additional 959,000 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 20.3% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,249,977 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $112,184,000 after buying an additional 379,131 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 31.8% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,215,217 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $109,878,000 after buying an additional 533,878 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,987,350 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $98,572,000 after buying an additional 25,378 shares in the last quarter. 74.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Shares of Westar Energy stock traded down $0.73 during trading on Friday, hitting $51.28. The stock had a trading volume of 456,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 777,633. The firm has a market capitalization of $7,293.71, a PE ratio of 22.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.13 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98. Westar Energy has a 12 month low of $47.06 and a 12 month high of $57.32.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by ($0.16). Westar Energy had a net margin of 12.60% and a return on equity of 8.40%. The company had revenue of $595.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $642.02 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.38 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Westar Energy will post 2.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, March 9th were issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 8th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.12%. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is 70.48%.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on WR. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 30th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, March 19th. JPMorgan Chase lowered their target price on shares of Westar Energy from $62.00 to $56.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, UBS began coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $55.00 target price for the company. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.50.

In related news, SVP Jerl L. Banning sold 4,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.51, for a total transaction of $210,040.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Larry D. Irick sold 5,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.56, for a total transaction of $252,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 56,007 shares of company stock valued at $2,845,359 in the last quarter. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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About Westar Energy

Westar Energy, Inc, an electric utility company, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Kansas. It has 6,602 megawatts of electric generation capacity, which generates electricity through coal, nuclear fuels, natural gas/diesel, and renewable sources. The company also owns approximately 6,400 miles of transmission lines, 24,200 miles of overhead distribution lines, and 5,100 miles of underground distribution lines.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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