Brokerages predict that Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) will report earnings per share of $1.20 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Zero analysts have issued estimates for Westar Energy’s earnings. Westar Energy reported earnings per share of $1.08 in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 11.1%. The firm is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westar Energy will report full-year earnings of $2.50 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.46 to $2.55. For the next year, analysts forecast that the business will report earnings of $2.51 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.49 to $2.52. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Westar Energy.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by ($0.06). Westar Energy had a net margin of 13.33% and a return on equity of 8.87%. The company had revenue of $609.32 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $633.96 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.51 EPS.

Several research analysts have weighed in on WR shares. Evercore ISI raised shares of Westar Energy from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $49.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 30th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Westar Energy from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $53.67.

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Shares of Westar Energy (WR) traded down 0.36% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $50.45. 641,780 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.20 and a beta of 0.39. Westar Energy has a 52 week low of $49.20 and a 52 week high of $57.50. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $50.72 and a 200 day moving average of $52.04.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 8th were paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 7th. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is 67.23%.

In related news, VP Larry D. Irick sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.17, for a total value of $511,700.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.21, for a total transaction of $204,840.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 31,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,611,715. Insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 19.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,587,206 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $879,454,000 after acquiring an additional 2,679,597 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 1.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,610,777 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $668,624,000 after acquiring an additional 186,563 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 1.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,690,842 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $254,580,000 after acquiring an additional 79,734 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 365.2% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,057,368 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $215,122,000 after acquiring an additional 3,185,194 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CNH Partners LLC raised its holdings in Westar Energy by 8.2% in the second quarter. CNH Partners LLC now owns 3,428,377 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $181,773,000 after acquiring an additional 260,631 shares in the last quarter. 73.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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