Westar Energy, Inc. (WR) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday 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 down 0.23% on Thursday, hitting $52.99. The stock had a trading volume of 137,780 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $52.66 and its 200 day moving average price is $54.14. The firm has a market cap of $7.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.17 and a beta of 0.42. Westar Energy has a 12 month low of $50.35 and a 12 month high of $57.50.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, June 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 7th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.01%. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 66.95%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Washington Trust Bank boosted its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 792.5% in the first quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 2,365 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares in the last quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont boosted its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 22.5% in the first quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 2,450 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 450 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 1.9% in the first quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 2,486 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 46 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westar Energy during the first quarter valued at about $139,000. Finally, Advantage Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westar Energy during the first quarter valued at about $142,000. 74.99% of the stock is owned by 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.

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