Westar Energy Inc (WR) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Westar Energy, Inc. is Kansas’ largest electric utility. Westar has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind and landfill gas. They are a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. Their innovative customer service programs include mobile-enabled customer care, digital meters and paving the way for electric vehicle adoption. “

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) traded up 0.757% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $51.255. 2,419,607 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Westar Energy has a 52 week low of $49.70 and a 52 week high of $57.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.093 and a beta of 0.38. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $54.40 and its 200 day moving average price is $55.51.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $606.53 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $578.83 million. Westar Energy had a return on equity of 8.91% and a net margin of 13.27%. Westar Energy’s quarterly revenue was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.28 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Westar Energy will post $2.51 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 9th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This is a positive change from Westar Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 7th. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is presently 65.24%.

In other news, SVP Jerl L. Banning sold 1,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.61, for a total transaction of $101,028.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.61% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WR. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its position in Westar Energy by 2.3% in the third quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 106,760 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,058,000 after buying an additional 2,432 shares during the last quarter. Concert Wealth Management Inc. raised its position in Westar Energy by 23.3% in the third quarter. Concert Wealth Management Inc. now owns 5,314 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $302,000 after buying an additional 1,004 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its position in Westar Energy by 6.1% in the third quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 10,865 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $616,000 after buying an additional 626 shares during the last quarter. Miller Howard Investments Inc. NY raised its position in Westar Energy by 0.7% in the third quarter. Miller Howard Investments Inc. NY now owns 38,086 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,161,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Shinko Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in Westar Energy by 911.6% in the third quarter. Shinko Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 3,662 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $208,000 after buying an additional 3,300 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.02% of the company’s stock.

Westar Energy Company Profile

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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