Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) VP Larry D. Irick sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.25, for a total transaction of $271,250.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link.
WR stock opened at $52.90 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.64, a PEG ratio of 5.79 and a beta of 0.29. Westar Energy has a 1-year low of $53.51 and a 1-year high of $54.33.
Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 9th. The utilities provider reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.48 by ($0.06). The firm had revenue of $600.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $567.39 million. Westar Energy had a net margin of 12.50% and a return on equity of 8.40%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.52 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Westar Energy will post 2.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 20th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 30th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.02%. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 70.48%.
Several analysts recently weighed in on WR shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, April 14th. JPMorgan Chase lifted their price objective on Westar Energy from $54.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. TheStreet upgraded Westar Energy from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, March 19th. ValuEngine upgraded Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 27th. Finally, UBS started coverage on Westar Energy in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Westar Energy currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.67.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised 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 purchasing an additional 433,537 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 30.1% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,150,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $219,120,000 after purchasing an additional 959,000 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 0.3% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,145,333 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $112,822,000 after purchasing an additional 6,332 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 10.8% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,060,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $108,768,000 after purchasing an additional 200,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Water Island Capital LLC raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 329.0% in the first quarter. Water Island Capital LLC now owns 1,578,124 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $82,994,000 after purchasing an additional 1,210,224 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.70% of the company’s stock.
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.
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