Westar Energy (WR) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Sunday. The brokerage currently has a $57.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 11.87% from the stock’s previous close.

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. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $57.00 price objective for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Westar Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Westar Energy presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $56.00.

Westar Energy (NYSE WR) opened at $50.95 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $7,258.17, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.14, a P/E/G ratio of 5.98 and a beta of 0.42. 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 has a twelve month low of $49.20 and a twelve month high of $57.32.

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

In other news, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.53, for a total transaction of $163,590.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Kevin L. Kongs sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 55,100 shares of company stock valued at $2,991,312 in the last quarter. Insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WR. Ffcm LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westar Energy during the third quarter worth about $113,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its stake 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 worth $171,000 after buying an additional 202 shares during the period. Colorado Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Westar Energy in the fourth quarter valued at about $205,000. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acquired a new stake in Westar Energy in the third quarter valued at about $212,000. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd lifted its position 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 period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.63% 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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