Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Westar Energy, Inc. is Kansas’ largest electric utility. Westar has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind and landfill gas. They are a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. Their innovative customer service programs include mobile-enabled customer care, digital meters and paving the way for electric vehicle adoption. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Bank of America started coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a buy rating and a $57.00 price objective on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $58.00 target price on Westar Energy and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded Westar Energy from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Westar Energy from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, August 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Westar Energy has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $55.75.

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) opened at $57.21 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $8,029.74, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.45, a PEG ratio of 6.81 and a beta of 0.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 0.65. Westar Energy has a one year low of $49.20 and a one year high of $57.50.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.20 by ($0.09). Westar Energy had a net margin of 13.32% and a return on equity of 8.94%. The company had revenue of $794.33 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $773.96 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.09 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Westar Energy will post 2.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 8th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.80%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.39%.

In other news, VP Kevin L. Kongs sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.06, for a total transaction of $108,120.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Mark A. Ruelle sold 37,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.35, for a total value of $2,010,950.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 55,100 shares of company stock worth $2,991,312 over the last 90 days. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WR. Ffcm LLC purchased a new position in shares of Westar Energy during the third quarter worth about $113,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 6.6% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 3,240 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $171,000 after purchasing an additional 202 shares during the period. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Westar Energy during the third quarter valued at approximately $212,000. Retirement Planning Group boosted its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 0.6% during the second quarter. Retirement Planning Group now owns 4,540 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $241,000 after purchasing an additional 26 shares during the period. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 5,201.9% during the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 14,209 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $268,000 after purchasing an additional 13,941 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.65% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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