Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The firm currently has a $95.00 target price on the specialty chemicals company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 12.44% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Westlake Chemical Corporation is a vertically integrated international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and fabricated products. The company’s range of products includes ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, vinyl intermediates, PVC, PVC Pipe, PVC windows, fence and decking components. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Instinet raised shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $78.64.

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

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In related news, VP Mark Steven Bender sold 13,794 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.22, for a total transaction of $968,614.68. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 44,449 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,121,208.78. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 71.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 43.4% during the second quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC now owns 36,608 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $2,424,000 after acquiring an additional 11,088 shares in the last quarter. 361 Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation during the second quarter valued at approximately $7,146,000. TVR Capital Management LP increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 115.4% during the second quarter. TVR Capital Management LP now owns 83,590 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $5,534,000 after acquiring an additional 44,792 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 5.7% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,922 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $260,000 after acquiring an additional 211 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 192.3% during the second quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 11,480 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $760,000 after acquiring an additional 7,552 shares in the last quarter. 31.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Westlake Chemical Corporation

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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