Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

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. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on WR. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded Westar Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $58.00 target price on Westar Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Bank of America began coverage on Westar Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $57.00 target price 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 stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.75.

Westar Energy (NYSE WR) traded down $1.10 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $55.65. The stock had a trading volume of 867,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 764,424. The stock has a market cap of $8,063.85, a P/E ratio of 23.55, a P/E/G ratio of 6.83 and a beta of 0.42. Westar Energy has a 52-week low of $49.20 and a 52-week high of $57.50. The company has a current ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97.

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

In other Westar Energy news, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.53, for a total transaction of $163,590.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Greg A. Greenwood sold 8,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.92, for a total value of $436,752.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 55,100 shares of company stock worth $2,991,312. 0.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System grew its position in Westar Energy by 0.3% in the second quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 221,473 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,742,000 after acquiring an additional 721 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its position in Westar Energy by 270.4% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,681,339 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $89,148,000 after acquiring an additional 1,227,431 shares in the last quarter. Seven Eight Capital LP grew its position in Westar Energy by 6.6% in the second quarter. Seven Eight Capital LP now owns 45,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,402,000 after acquiring an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new position in Westar Energy in the third quarter worth about $1,601,000. Finally, K2 Principal Fund L.P. grew its position in Westar Energy by 8.9% in the third quarter. K2 Principal Fund L.P. now owns 32,676 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,621,000 after acquiring an additional 2,676 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.66% 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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