Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) Declares Dividend of $0.19
Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) announced a dividend on Friday, May 19th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, May 30th will be given a dividend of 0.1906 per share by the specialty chemicals company on Tuesday, June 13th. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 25th.
Westlake Chemical has raised its dividend by an average of 21.7% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 13 consecutive years. Westlake Chemical has a payout ratio of 17.4% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities analysts expect Westlake Chemical to earn $4.70 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.76 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 16.2%.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) traded up 2.19% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $62.88. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,077,517 shares. The firm has a market cap of $8.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.78 and a beta of 1.69. Westlake Chemical has a 52-week low of $39.48 and a 52-week high of $68.08. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $63.71 and a 200-day moving average of $60.89.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.46. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.62 billion. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 9.50% and a return on equity of 13.56%. The business’s revenue was up 99.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.94 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will post $4.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.32, for a total value of $771,840.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 58,243 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,746,189.76. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP George J. Mangieri sold 6,578 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.21, for a total transaction of $409,217.38. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 6,577 shares in the company, valued at approximately $409,155.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 71.70% of the company’s stock.
An institutional investor recently raised its position in Westlake Chemical stock. Morgan Stanley raised its position in Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 15.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 26,028 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after buying an additional 3,413 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $1,718,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC. Institutional investors own 28.74% of the company’s stock.
WLK has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Bank of America Corp reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 25th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Finally, Citigroup Inc cut their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $66.00 to $64.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 14th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $60.91.
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Westlake Chemical Company Profile
Westlake Chemical Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. The Company’s products include a range of chemicals, which are fundamental to various consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, water treatment, refrigerants, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.
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