Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) in a research note published on Wednesday. The brokerage issued an outperform rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

WR has been the subject of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $60.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Westar Energy from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Westar Energy from an in-line rating to an outperform rating and boosted 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 raised shares of Westar Energy from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Westar Energy currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $55.33.

Shares of Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) traded up 0.24% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $50.40. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,387,578 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $52.06 and its 200-day moving average price is $53.28. Westar Energy has a one year low of $49.21 and a one year high of $57.50. The company has a market capitalization of $7.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.09 and a beta of 0.40.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 9th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 7th. Westar Energy’s payout ratio is 66.95%.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of WR. Washington Trust Bank increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 792.5% in the first quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 2,365 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares during the last quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 22.5% in the first quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 2,450 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 450 shares during the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 1.9% in the first quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 2,486 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 46 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westar Energy during the first quarter worth about $139,000. Finally, Advantage Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westar Energy during the first quarter worth about $142,000. 71.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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