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Westar Energy Announces 1st Quarter 2016 Results.

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) -- TOPEKA, Kan., May 3, 2016 - Westar Energy, Inc. WR, +0.79% today announced earnings of $66 million, or $0.46 per share, for the first quarter 2016 compared with earnings of $51 million, or $0.38 per share, for the first quarter 2015.

Higher net income for the quarter, compared with last year, was driven by the impact of last fall's rate order which recovered the costs of mandated air quality controls, higher corporate owned life insurance proceeds, lower distribution system expenses, and lower operating and maintenance costs as a result of the company retiring some of its older, smaller generating plants late last year. The higher revenues were partially offset by the effects of unusually mild weather.

Earnings Guidance

The company affirmed its 2016 earnings guidance of $2.38 to $2.53 per share. The earnings guidance drivers are located under Supplemental Materials within the investor sectionof the company website at

Conference Call and Additional Company Information

Westar Energy management will host a conference call Wednesday, May 4 with the investment community at 10 a.m. ET (9 a.m. CT). Investors, media and the public may listen to the conference call by dialing 866-411-8234, participant code 86800330. A webcast of the live conference call will be available at

Members of the media are invited to listen to the conference call and then contact Jana Dawson with any follow-up questions.

This earnings announcement, a package of detailed first quarter financial information, the company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended Mar. 31, 2016 and other filings the company has made with the Securities and Exchange Commission are available on the company's website at

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Westar Energy, Inc. WR, +0.79% is Kansas' largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided Kansans the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Every day our team of professionals takes on projects to generate and deliver electricity, protect the environment and provide excellent service to our nearly 700,000...