BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) by 19.3% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 16,587,206 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,679,597 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned 11.67% of Westar Energy worth $879,454,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Retirement Planning Group grew its stake in shares of Westar Energy by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Retirement Planning Group now owns 4,540 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Private Advisor Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Westar Energy by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 7,236 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $367,000 after purchasing an additional 79 shares during the period. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Westar Energy by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 5,275 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $286,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the period. Utah Retirement Systems boosted its position in shares of Westar Energy by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 25,891 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,373,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, World Asset Management Inc boosted its position in shares of Westar Energy by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 9,619 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $510,000 after purchasing an additional 124 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.65% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on WR shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Westar Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, August 5th. Wolfe Research started coverage on shares of Westar Energy in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of 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 report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Westar Energy from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $53.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.33.

In related news, SVP Greg A. Greenwood sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total value of $510,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Bruce A. Akin sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total value of $257,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 31,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,611,715 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Westar Energy, Inc. (WR) opened at 50.58 on Wednesday. Westar Energy, Inc. has a 52 week low of $49.21 and a 52 week high of $57.50. The company has a 50 day moving average of $51.12 and a 200 day moving average of $52.40. The firm has a market cap of $7.19 billion, a PE ratio of 21.25 and a beta of 0.41.

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) last posted its quarterly earnings data 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 net margin of 13.33% and a return on equity of 8.87%. The business had revenue of $609.32 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $633.96 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.51 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Westar Energy, Inc. will post $2.50 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.16%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. Westar Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 67.23%.

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Westar Energy 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)

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