Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) – Stock analysts at SunTrust Banks lifted their FY2017 earnings estimates for shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Sheehan now anticipates that the specialty chemicals company will post earnings of $4.92 per share for the year, up from their previous estimate of $4.66. SunTrust Banks has a “Buy” rating and a $86.00 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Westlake Chemical Corporation’s FY2018 earnings at $6.64 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $6.73 EPS.

Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $1.98 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2 billion. Westlake Chemical Corporation had a net margin of 6.57% and a return on equity of 13.68%. The company’s revenue was up 82.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.85 EPS.

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Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co lifted their price target on Westlake Chemical Corporation from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. BidaskClub upgraded Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Cowen and Company lifted their price target on Westlake Chemical Corporation from $70.00 to $78.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $68.56.

Shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE WLK) opened at 76.98 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $9.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.00 and a beta of 1.62. The company’s 50-day moving average is $71.93 and its 200-day moving average is $66.40. Westlake Chemical Corporation has a 52-week low of $48.13 and a 52-week high of $79.13.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 18th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a $0.21 dividend. This is a positive change from Westlake Chemical Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. Westlake Chemical Corporation’s payout ratio is 24.00%.

In related news, VP Mark Steven Bender sold 13,794 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.22, for a total value of $968,614.68. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 44,449 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,121,208.78. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 71.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WLK. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 14,246.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,699,615 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $112,260,000 after purchasing an additional 1,687,768 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new position in Westlake Chemical Corporation in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $90,442,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its position in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 215.3% in the 1st quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,368,155 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $90,367,000 after buying an additional 934,281 shares during the period. Balyasny Asset Management LLC increased its position in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 293.5% in the 2nd quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 623,929 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $41,310,000 after buying an additional 465,365 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC increased its position in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 15.0% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,808,967 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $185,981,000 after buying an additional 366,537 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 31.98% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical Corporation 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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK)

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