WESTAR ENERGY ANNOUNCES 2016 RESULTS
TOPEKA, Kan., Feb. 22, 2017 - Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) today announced earnings of $347 million, or $2.43 per share, for 2016 compared with earnings of $292 million, or $2.11 per share, for 2015. Fourth quarter 2016 earnings were $54 million, or $0.38 per share, compared with earnings of $39 million, or $0.28 per share, for the fourth quarter 2015.
“As we work to combine with KCP&L, we’ve managed expenses by keeping numerous positions vacant as people have retired while still delivering safe, reliable energy for our customers. We’ve also slowed other projects as we evaluate those plans in a combined electric company,” said Mark Ruelle, president and chief executive officer. “The merger is integral to maintaining these savings.”
Net income for 2016, compared with the prior year, was driven by recent price adjustments, an increase in corporate-owned life insurance income, and decreased costs from power plant retirements in late 2015. The higher revenue was partially offset by higher depreciation due to air quality control additions at La Cygne, higher costs at coal-fired plants from scheduled outages, and merger-related expenses.
Net income for the fourth quarter 2016, compared with 2015, increased primarily from favorable weather over prior year, recent price adjustments, and an increase in corporate-owned life insurance income. The higher revenue was partially offset by higher expenses due to improving long-term grid reliability.
The Board of Directors today declared a quarterly dividend of 40 cents per share payable April 3, 2017, on the company's common stock payable to shareholders of record as of March 9, 2017. The new dividend reflects a 5 percent increase over the company's previous quarterly dividend of 38 cents per share, and results in an indicated annual dividend of id="mce_marker".60 per share.
Due to the pending transaction with Great Plains Energy, Westar Energy will no longer host a quarterly webcast and conference call. Investors may continue to contact our Investor Relations
Department at (785) 575-8227.
This earnings announcement, a package of detailed fourth quarter and year-end 2016 financial information, the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the period ended Dec. 31, 2016 and other filings the company made with the Securities and Exchange Commission are available on the company's website at www.WestarEnergy.com.