Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) SVP Jerl L. Banning sold 1,850 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 16th. The stock was 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

Shares of Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) traded down 0.24% on Monday, hitting $54.70. The company had a trading volume of 305,227 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.77 billion, a PE ratio of 22.51 and a beta of 0.38. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $54.10 and its 200-day moving average price is $55.75. Westar Energy Inc has a 52 week low of $47.19 and a 52 week high of $57.50.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 22nd. The company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.04. Westar Energy had a return on equity of 8.91% and a net margin of 13.27%. The business earned $606.53 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $578.83 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.28 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Westar Energy Inc will post $2.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 3rd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 9th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 7th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.92%. This is a boost from Westar Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 65.24%.

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A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Retirement Planning Group boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 0.5% in the third quarter. Retirement Planning Group now owns 4,467 shares of the company’s stock valued at $254,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the period. Advantus Capital Management Inc boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 0.6% in the third quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 17,259 shares of the company’s stock valued at $979,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 6.2% in the third quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,761 shares of the company’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 161 shares during the period. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 5,329 shares of the company’s stock valued at $300,000 after buying an additional 169 shares during the period. Finally, State Treasurer State of Michigan boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 0.4% in the third quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 57,050 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,238,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.02% of the company’s stock.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Westar Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.33.

Westar Energy Company Profile

Westar Energy, Inc (Westar Energy) is an electric utility in Kansas. The Company provides electric generation, transmission and distribution services to approximately 700,000 customers in Kansas. The Company provides these services in central and northeastern Kansas, including the cities of Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan, Salina and Hutchinson.

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