TheStreet upgraded shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research report released on Monday morning.

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on WR. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westar Energy from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, November 28th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price objective on Westar Energy from $62.00 to $56.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, UBS assumed coverage on Westar Energy in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a neutral rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Westar Energy currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $55.50.

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Shares of Westar Energy stock opened at $50.56 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $7,169.96, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.27, a PEG ratio of 5.04 and a beta of 0.41. Westar Energy has a twelve month low of $47.06 and a twelve month high of $57.32.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by ($0.16). The firm had revenue of $595.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $642.02 million. Westar Energy had a net margin of 12.60% and a return on equity of 8.40%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.38 EPS. analysts forecast that Westar Energy will post 2.5 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.16%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 8th. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio is 70.48%.

In other news, SVP Bruce A. Akin sold 5,507 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.53, for a total transaction of $278,268.71. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.93, for a total value of $599,160.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 22,507 shares of company stock valued at $1,130,229. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Westar Energy by 2.3% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,013,752 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,003,927,000 after purchasing an additional 433,537 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Westar Energy by 30.1% during the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,150,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $219,120,000 after purchasing an additional 959,000 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Westar Energy by 20.3% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,249,977 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $112,184,000 after purchasing an additional 379,131 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Westar Energy by 31.8% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,215,217 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $109,878,000 after purchasing an additional 533,878 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Westar Energy by 10.8% during the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,060,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $108,768,000 after purchasing an additional 200,000 shares during the last quarter. 74.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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