Analysts Set Westar Energy (WR) PT at $55.20

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) have been given an average rating of “Buy” by the nine brokerages that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $55.20.

A number of brokerages have commented on WR. Zacks Investment Research cut Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. TheStreet cut Westar Energy from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. UBS began coverage on Westar Energy in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $55.00 price target on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase decreased their price target on Westar Energy from $62.00 to $56.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, January 25th.

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In other news, SVP Jerl L. Banning sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.51, for a total transaction of $210,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.93, for a total value of $599,160.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 56,007 shares of company stock worth $2,845,359 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 18.0% during the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 28,880 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,436,000 after buying an additional 4,399 shares during the period. UMB Bank N A MO increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 60.3% during the fourth quarter. UMB Bank N A MO now owns 11,835 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $625,000 after buying an additional 4,453 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 117.7% during the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 6,804 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $337,000 after buying an additional 3,678 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 31.8% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,215,217 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $109,878,000 after buying an additional 533,878 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 6.8% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 183,105 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,082,000 after buying an additional 11,685 shares during the period. 74.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NYSE:WR traded down $0.80 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $51.79. The stock had a trading volume of 617,774 shares, compared to its average volume of 740,808. The company has a market capitalization of $7,480.03, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.81, a PEG ratio of 5.26 and a beta of 0.30. Westar Energy has a one year low of $47.06 and a one year high of $57.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.53.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by ($0.16). The firm had revenue of $595.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $642.02 million. Westar Energy had a return on equity of 8.40% and a net margin of 12.60%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.38 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Westar Energy will post 2.5 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 8th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.09%. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 70.48%.

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Westar Energy Company Profile

Westar Energy, Inc, an electric utility company, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Kansas. It has 6,602 megawatts of electric generation capacity, which generates electricity through coal, nuclear fuels, natural gas/diesel, and renewable sources. The company also owns approximately 6,400 miles of transmission lines, 24,200 miles of overhead distribution lines, and 5,100 miles of underground distribution lines.

Analyst Recommendations for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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