Headlines about Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) have been trending somewhat positive on Saturday, according to Accern Sentiment. The research firm identifies positive and negative news coverage by reviewing more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Westar Energy earned a media sentiment score of 0.13 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news headlines about the utilities provider an impact score of 45.8940342516373 out of 100, meaning that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the next few days.

Here are some of the news headlines that may have impacted Accern’s rankings:

Several equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 5th. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Westar Energy from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the company from $49.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their target price for the company from $32.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.33.

Westar Energy (WR) opened at 51.10 on Friday. Westar Energy has a 1-year low of $49.21 and a 1-year high of $57.50. The company has a market cap of $7.26 billion, a PE ratio of 21.47 and a beta of 0.39. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $50.89 and its 200 day moving average is $52.64.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $609.32 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $633.96 million. Westar Energy had a return on equity of 8.87% and a net margin of 13.33%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.51 EPS. Analysts predict that Westar Energy will post $2.50 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 67.23%.

In related news, SVP Greg A. Greenwood sold 10,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total transaction of $510,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Anthony D. Somma sold 4,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.21, for a total value of $204,840.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 31,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,611,715. Corporate insiders own 0.61% 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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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