Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, May 17th, RTT News reports. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 30th will be given a dividend of 0.40 per share by the utilities provider on Wednesday, June 20th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.02%.

Westar Energy has raised its dividend by an average of 4.4% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 12 consecutive years. Westar Energy has a dividend payout ratio of 65.3% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Westar Energy to earn $2.98 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.60 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 53.7%.

NYSE WR opened at $52.90 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97. Westar Energy has a 52 week low of $53.51 and a 52 week high of $54.33. The company has a market cap of $7.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.64, a PEG ratio of 5.79 and a beta of 0.29.

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

In other news, VP Larry D. Irick sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.56, for a total transaction of $252,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Jerl L. Banning sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.51, for a total transaction of $210,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 70,007 shares of company stock valued at $3,599,039 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have commented on WR. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, April 26th. JPMorgan Chase boosted their price target on shares of Westar Energy from $54.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, March 19th. Finally, UBS began coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $55.00 price target for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.67.

Westar Energy Company 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.

Dividend History for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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