Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) received a $58.00 price target from stock analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a “buy” rating on the utilities provider’s stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co’s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.35% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, September 23rd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Westar Energy from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.33.

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE WR) traded up 0.60% on Thursday, hitting $52.40. 203,600 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $50.74 and its 200 day moving average price is $51.92. The firm has a market cap of $7.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.02 and a beta of 0.39. Westar Energy has a one year low of $49.20 and a one year high of $57.50.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.06). The firm had revenue of $609.32 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $633.96 million. Westar Energy had a net margin of 13.33% and a return on equity of 8.87%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.51 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Westar Energy will post $2.50 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, SVP Greg A. Greenwood sold 10,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total value of $510,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Bruce A. Akin sold 5,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $257,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 31,500 shares of company stock worth $1,611,715. 0.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. D.A. Davidson & CO. grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 6.6% in the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 3,240 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $171,000 after purchasing an additional 202 shares during the last quarter. V Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Westar Energy in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $187,000. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Westar Energy in the 1st quarter worth approximately $233,000. Sii Investments Inc. WI grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 4.9% in the 1st quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 4,495 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $242,000 after purchasing an additional 211 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Retirement Planning Group grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Retirement Planning Group now owns 4,540 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $241,000 after purchasing an additional 26 shares during the last quarter. 73.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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