Verition Fund Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR) by 281.0% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 298,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 220,146 shares during the quarter. Westar Energy makes up 1.2% of Verition Fund Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 4th biggest position. Verition Fund Management LLC’s holdings in Westar Energy were worth $15,698,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the business. MML Investors Services LLC boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 13.0% during the fourth quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 8,731 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $461,000 after buying an additional 1,002 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 2.9% during the first quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 44,190 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,324,000 after buying an additional 1,230 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 4.1% during the first quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 32,298 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,699,000 after buying an additional 1,274 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 16.8% during the first quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 9,050 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $476,000 after buying an additional 1,300 shares during the period. Finally, Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in Westar Energy by 16.2% during the first quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 9,727 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $512,000 after buying an additional 1,353 shares during the period. 75.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:WR opened at $54.00 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $7.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.79, a PEG ratio of 5.82 and a beta of 0.33. Westar Energy Inc has a fifty-two week low of $47.06 and a fifty-two week high of $57.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a current ratio of 0.82.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 9th. The utilities provider reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by ($0.06). The firm had revenue of $600.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $567.39 million. Westar Energy had a net margin of 12.50% and a return on equity of 8.40%. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.52 EPS. analysts predict that Westar Energy Inc will post 2.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 20th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 30th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 29th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.96%. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 70.48%.

In other Westar Energy news, CEO Mark A. Ruelle sold 29,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.02, for a total transaction of $1,505,090.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Larry D. Irick sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.56, for a total transaction of $252,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 56,322 shares of company stock worth $2,929,374. 0.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on shares of Westar Energy from $56.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 26th. TheStreet raised shares of Westar Energy from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Monday, March 19th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $56.33.

Westar Energy Profile

Westar Energy, Inc, an electric utility company, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Kansas. It has 6,602 megawatts of electric generation capacity, which generates electricity through coal, nuclear fuels, natural gas/diesel, and renewable sources. The company also owns approximately 6,400 miles of transmission lines, 24,200 miles of overhead distribution lines, and 5,100 miles of underground distribution lines.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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