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

Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Saturday, April 22nd.

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. “

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) traded up 0.41% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $51.90. The stock had a trading volume of 468,704 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.72 and a beta of 0.38. Westar Energy has a 1-year low of $50.35 and a 1-year high of $57.50. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $52.88 and its 200 day moving average is $54.77.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.04. Westar Energy had a return on equity of 8.91% and a net margin of 13.27%. The firm had revenue of $606.53 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $578.83 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.28 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Westar Energy will post $2.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 9th will be given a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.08%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 7th. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is currently 65.24%.

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In other news, SVP Jerl L. Banning sold 1,850 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.61, for a total value of $101,028.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.61% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WR. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 4,412.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,907,609 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $754,767,000 after buying an additional 13,599,373 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in Westar Energy by 98.4% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,295,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $124,566,000 after buying an additional 1,138,400 shares in the last quarter. Alpine Associates Management Inc. bought a new stake in Westar Energy during the fourth quarter valued at $59,138,000. American Century Companies Inc. bought a new stake in Westar Energy during the first quarter valued at $47,333,000. Finally, Luminus Management LLC bought a new stake in Westar Energy during the fourth quarter valued at $48,781,000. 70.02% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:WR

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