Westar Energy Inc (WR) Stock Rating Upgraded by 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 report released on Saturday morning.

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 1.10% on Friday, hitting $51.43. The stock had a trading volume of 2,814,366 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average of $54.40 and a 200-day moving average of $55.51. Westar Energy has a 12-month low of $49.70 and a 12-month high of $57.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.16 and a beta of 0.38.

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

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 3rd. Investors of record on Thursday, March 9th were issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 7th. This is a boost from Westar Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.11%. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is 65.24%.

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

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 2.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 572,939 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $32,513,000 after buying an additional 15,725 shares during the last quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC raised its stake in Westar Energy by 41.8% in the third quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC now owns 770,168 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $43,707,000 after buying an additional 227,167 shares during the period. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Westar Energy by 2.3% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 35,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,948,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. First Quadrant L P CA purchased a new stake in Westar Energy during the third quarter worth $10,290,000. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System raised its stake in Westar Energy by 0.9% in the third quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 310,653 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $17,630,000 after buying an additional 2,700 shares during the period. 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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