Analyzing Westar Energy (WR) and Its Competitors

Westar Energy (NYSE: WR) is one of 83 public companies in the “Electric Utilities” industry, but how does it compare to its competitors? We will compare Westar Energy to similar businesses based on the strength of its valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, earnings and institutional ownership.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

73.7% of Westar Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.5% of shares of all “Electric Utilities” companies are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Westar Energy shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of shares of all “Electric Utilities” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


Westar Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. Westar Energy pays out 67.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Electric Utilities” companies pay a dividend yield of 3.2% and pay out 103.5% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Westar Energy has raised its dividend for 11 consecutive years. Westar Energy is clearly a better dividend stock than its competitors, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Westar Energy and its competitors gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Westar Energy $2.55 billion $1.06 billion 20.88
Westar Energy Competitors $7.31 billion $2.15 billion 30.17

Westar Energy’s competitors have higher revenue and earnings than Westar Energy. Westar Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Risk and Volatility

Westar Energy has a beta of 0.41, meaning that its share price is 59% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Westar Energy’s competitors have a beta of 0.70, meaning that their average share price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Westar Energy and its competitors, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Westar Energy 0 0 3 0 3.00
Westar Energy Competitors 694 3246 2445 52 2.29

Westar Energy presently has a consensus price target of $53.00, indicating a potential upside of 6.66%. As a group, “Electric Utilities” companies have a potential upside of 6.12%. Given Westar Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Westar Energy is more favorable than its competitors.


This table compares Westar Energy and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Westar Energy 13.33% 8.87% 2.97%
Westar Energy Competitors -10.95% 3.24% 0.50%


Westar Energy beats its competitors on 9 of the 15 factors compared.

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. Both the Company and KGE conduct business using the name Westar Energy. The Company supplies electric energy at retail to customers in Kansas. The Company also supplies electric energy at wholesale to municipalities and electric cooperatives in Kansas, and has contracts for the sale or purchase of wholesale electricity with other utilities. As of December 31, 2016, it had 6,292 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity in service.

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