Brokerages expect Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) to post $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Zero analysts have provided estimates for Westar Energy’s earnings. Westar Energy posted earnings of $1.08 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 11.1%. The company is expected to announce its next earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th.

On average, analysts expect that Westar Energy will report full-year earnings of $2.50 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.46 to $2.55. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will report earnings of $2.51 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.49 to $2.52. Zacks’ EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Westar Energy.

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 Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.06). Westar Energy had a return on equity of 8.87% and a net margin of 13.33%. The company had revenue of $609.32 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $633.96 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.51 EPS.

Several research analysts have commented on the company. Wells Fargo & Company raised Westar Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, September 23rd. BidaskClub raised Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Westar Energy in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, Evercore ISI raised Westar Energy from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $53.67.

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Shares of Westar Energy (WR) traded up 0.75% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $50.83. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 313,115 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $50.71 and its 200 day moving average is $52.01. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.36 and a beta of 0.39. Westar Energy has a 52 week low of $49.20 and a 52 week high of $57.50.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 8th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.16%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 7th. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is 67.23%.

In other news, SVP Bruce A. Akin sold 5,000 shares of Westar Energy stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $257,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, 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 value of $510,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 31,500 shares of company stock worth $1,611,715. Corporate insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WR. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Westar Energy by 4,412.0% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,907,609 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $754,767,000 after acquiring an additional 13,599,373 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. grew its stake in Westar Energy by 365.2% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,057,368 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $215,122,000 after purchasing an additional 3,185,194 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its stake in Westar Energy by 270.4% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,681,339 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $89,148,000 after purchasing an additional 1,227,431 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in Westar Energy by 8,831.1% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,169,889 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $62,028,000 after purchasing an additional 1,156,790 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in Westar Energy by 98.4% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,295,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $124,566,000 after purchasing an additional 1,138,400 shares in the last quarter. 73.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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