Westar Energy (NYSE: WR) is one of 83 publicly-traded companies in the “Electric Utilities” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its competitors? We will compare Westar Energy to related companies based on the strength of its analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, earnings and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Westar Energy and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Westar Energy 13.33% 8.87% 2.97%
Westar Energy Competitors -10.90% 3.28% 0.51%

Risk & Volatility

Westar Energy has a beta of 0.41, indicating that its stock price is 59% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Westar Energy’s competitors have a beta of 0.70, indicating that their average stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Westar Energy and its competitors gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Westar Energy $2.55 billion $1.06 billion 21.46
Westar Energy Competitors $7.30 billion $2.15 billion 30.93

Westar Energy’s competitors have higher revenue and earnings than Westar Energy. Westar Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Dividends

Westar Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Westar Energy pays out 67.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Electric Utilities” companies pay a dividend yield of 3.2% and pay out 104.0% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Westar Energy has increased its dividend for 11 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

73.7% of Westar Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.6% of shares of all “Electric Utilities” companies are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Westar Energy shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of shares of all “Electric Utilities” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Westar Energy and its competitors, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Westar Energy 0 0 3 0 3.00
Westar Energy Competitors 692 3227 2433 52 2.29

Westar Energy presently has a consensus target price of $53.00, suggesting a potential upside of 3.78%. As a group, “Electric Utilities” companies have a potential upside of 4.99%. Given Westar Energy’s competitors higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Westar Energy has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Summary

Westar Energy competitors beat Westar Energy on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

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. Both the Company and KGE conduct business using the name Westar Energy. The Company supplies electric energy at retail to customers in Kansas. The Company also supplies electric energy at wholesale to municipalities and electric cooperatives in Kansas, and has contracts for the sale or purchase of wholesale electricity with other utilities. As of December 31, 2016, it had 6,292 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity in service.

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