Press coverage about Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) has trended somewhat positive recently, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research firm scores the sentiment of press coverage by monitoring more than 20 million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Westar Energy earned a coverage optimism score of 0.16 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned press coverage about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.3719183177933 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the next few days.

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE WR) opened at 49.60 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.84 and a beta of 0.41. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $51.12 and a 200 day moving average of $52.40. Westar Energy has a 12-month low of $49.21 and a 12-month high of $57.50.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by ($0.06). The business had revenue of $609.32 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $633.96 million. Westar Energy had a net margin of 12.48% and a return on equity of 7.56%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.51 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Westar Energy will post $2.50 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.23%. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 67.23%.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on WR shares. Evercore ISI raised shares of Westar Energy from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $53.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Westar Energy from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $53.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.33.

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In other Westar Energy news, SVP Bruce A. Akin sold 5,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total value of $257,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Larry D. Irick sold 10,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.17, for a total transaction of $511,700.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 31,500 shares of company stock worth $1,611,715. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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