Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) VP Larry D. Irick sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website.
NYSE WR opened at $51.28 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98. The company has a market capitalization of $7,293.71, a PE ratio of 22.59, a P/E/G ratio of 5.13 and a beta of 0.30. Westar Energy has a 52-week low of $47.06 and a 52-week high of $57.32.
Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by ($0.16). Westar Energy had a return on equity of 8.40% and a net margin of 12.60%. The firm had revenue of $595.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $642.02 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.38 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Westar Energy will post 2.5 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, March 9th were issued a $0.40 dividend. 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 dividend payout ratio is currently 70.48%.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Westar Energy by 2.3% in the fourth 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 during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its holdings in Westar Energy by 30.1% during the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,150,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $219,120,000 after purchasing an additional 959,000 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its holdings in Westar Energy by 20.3% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,249,977 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $112,184,000 after purchasing an additional 379,131 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in Westar Energy by 31.8% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,215,217 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $109,878,000 after purchasing an additional 533,878 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in Westar Energy by 10.8% during the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,060,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $108,768,000 after purchasing an additional 200,000 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.65% of the company’s stock.
WR has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. JPMorgan Chase reduced their price objective on shares of Westar Energy from $62.00 to $56.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. TheStreet lowered shares of Westar Energy from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. Finally, UBS assumed coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.50.
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Westar Energy Company Profile
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.
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