Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) in a research report report published on Wednesday. The firm issued an outperform rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on WR. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westar Energy from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, April 8th. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded Westar Energy from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and boosted their price target for the company from $32.00 to $53.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Evercore ISI upgraded Westar Energy from an in-line rating to an outperform rating and boosted their price target for the company from $49.00 to $53.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Westar Energy from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $55.33.

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) opened at 50.56 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $7.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.15 and a beta of 0.40. Westar Energy has a 12 month low of $49.21 and a 12 month high of $57.50. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $51.91 and its 200 day moving average price is $53.24.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, June 9th were issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 7th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.16%. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 66.95%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Westar Energy by 4,412.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,907,609 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $754,767,000 after buying an additional 13,599,373 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Westar Energy by 5.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,424,214 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $674,263,000 after buying an additional 618,478 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in Westar Energy by 1.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,690,842 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $254,580,000 after buying an additional 79,734 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Westar Energy by 98.4% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,295,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $124,566,000 after buying an additional 1,138,400 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Westar Energy by 3.7% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,938,172 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $105,184,000 after buying an additional 69,839 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.85% of the company’s stock.

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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