Equities researchers at Bank of America Corporation assumed coverage on shares of Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) in a report released on Tuesday. The firm set a “buy” rating and a $57.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Bank of America Corporation’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 7.77% from the company’s current price.

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on WR. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 7th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Westar Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. BidaskClub raised shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 5th. Evercore ISI raised Westar Energy from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $49.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Westar Energy in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.75.

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE WR) traded down 0.74% on Tuesday, hitting $52.50. The stock had a trading volume of 495,094 shares. The company has a market cap of $7.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.06 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a 50-day moving average of $50.98 and a 200-day moving average of $51.80. Westar Energy has a 52-week low of $49.20 and a 52-week high of $57.50.

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

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In other news, VP Larry D. Irick sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.17, for a total transaction of $511,700.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction 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. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 31,500 shares of company stock worth $1,611,715. Insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. D.A. Davidson & CO. grew its holdings 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 buying an additional 202 shares during the last quarter. V Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Westar Energy in the second quarter valued at $187,000. Retirement Planning Group boosted its holdings in Westar Energy by 0.6% in 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 last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Westar Energy by 5,201.9% in 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 last quarter. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd boosted its holdings in Westar Energy by 18.3% in the second quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 5,089 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $269,000 after purchasing an additional 789 shares during the last quarter. 73.55% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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