Westar Energy (WR) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors 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 research firms have also weighed in on WR. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $58.00 target price on shares of Westar Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $57.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.75.

Westar Energy (WR) opened at $54.99 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $7,820.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.70 and a beta of 0.42. Westar Energy has a 1-year low of $49.20 and a 1-year high of $57.50. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97.

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

In related news, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 3,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.53, for a total transaction of $163,590.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Kevin L. Kongs sold 2,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.06, for a total transaction of $108,120.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 55,100 shares of company stock worth $2,991,312 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 10.0% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 449,709 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $23,844,000 after purchasing an additional 40,771 shares during the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 12.6% in the 2nd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 242,916 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,879,000 after purchasing an additional 27,230 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,961,972 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $104,024,000 after purchasing an additional 23,800 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 5.7% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 681,749 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $36,153,000 after purchasing an additional 36,584 shares during the last quarter. Finally, GABELLI & Co INVESTMENT ADVISERS INC. increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. GABELLI & Co INVESTMENT ADVISERS INC. now owns 230,648 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,229,000 after purchasing an additional 3,379 shares during the last quarter. 73.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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