Zacks: Analysts Anticipate Westar Energy, Inc. (WR) to Post $1.20 EPS

Equities research analysts expect that Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $1.20 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Zero analysts have issued estimates for Westar Energy’s earnings. Westar Energy posted earnings of $1.08 per share during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 11.1%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westar Energy will report full year earnings of $2.50 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.46 to $2.55. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will report earnings of $2.51 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.49 to $2.52. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for Westar Energy.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by ($0.06). Westar Energy had a net margin of 13.33% and a return on equity of 8.87%. The company had revenue of $609.32 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $633.96 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.51 EPS.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on WR. Zacks Investment Research raised Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. BidaskClub raised Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Evercore ISI raised Westar Energy from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the company from $49.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised Westar Energy from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their target price for the company from $32.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Wolfe Research began coverage on Westar Energy in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.33.

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) traded up 0.79% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $51.07. The company had a trading volume of 1,182,494 shares. Westar Energy has a 52 week low of $49.21 and a 52 week high of $57.50. The company has a market capitalization of $7.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.46 and a beta of 0.41. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $51.12 and its 200-day moving average price is $52.48.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.13%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 67.23%.

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In other news, SVP Greg A. Greenwood sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total transaction of $510,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Bruce A. Akin sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total value of $257,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 31,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,611,715. Company insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Blackstart Capital LP purchased a new position in Westar Energy in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $10,057,000. First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Westar Energy by 69.2% in the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 902,806 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $47,867,000 after purchasing an additional 369,234 shares in the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its stake in Westar Energy by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 221,473 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $11,742,000 after purchasing an additional 721 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Westar Energy by 5.2% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,424,214 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $674,263,000 after purchasing an additional 618,478 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sii Investments Inc. WI increased its stake in Westar Energy by 4.9% in the 1st quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 4,495 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $242,000 after purchasing an additional 211 shares in the last quarter. 73.65% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Westar Energy

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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