Westar Energy (WR) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued 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. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. UBS Group initiated coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $55.00 target price on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price objective on shares of Westar Energy from $62.00 to $56.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $57.00 price objective on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Westar Energy currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.50.

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE WR) traded down $0.02 on Wednesday, reaching $49.91. 269,604 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 655,293. Westar Energy has a 1 year low of $47.06 and a 1 year high of $57.32. The stock has a market cap of $7,165.81, a P/E ratio of 20.75, a P/E/G ratio of 5.91 and a beta of 0.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 1.07.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 2.3% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,013,752 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,003,927,000 after purchasing an additional 433,537 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 30.1% in the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,150,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $219,120,000 after purchasing an additional 959,000 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 20.3% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,249,977 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $112,184,000 after purchasing an additional 379,131 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 31.8% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,215,217 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $109,878,000 after purchasing an additional 533,878 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 10.8% in the 4th quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,060,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $108,768,000 after purchasing an additional 200,000 shares during the last quarter. 71.08% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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