Brokerages expect Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) to post $1.64 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Four analysts have issued estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $1.72 and the lowest is $1.44. Westlake Chemical reported earnings per share of $0.87 in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 88.5%. The company is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full-year earnings of $5.47 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.37 to $5.58. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the business will report earnings of $6.72 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.19 to $7.44. Zacks’ EPS averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Westlake Chemical.
A number of research firms have commented on WLK. Johnson Rice began coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Monday, November 6th. They issued an “accumulate” rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $86.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Cowen upped their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $78.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. ValuEngine cut shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. Finally, Alembic Global Advisors reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, November 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Westlake Chemical currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $99.50.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 27th were given a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 24th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.83%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is presently 18.22%.
In related news, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total value of $1,263,701.64. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 10,195 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $962,815.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Albert Chao sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.34, for a total transaction of $2,358,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 299,018 shares in the company, valued at approximately $28,209,358.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 71.70% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. raised its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 6,376.2% in the third quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 1,360 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $113,000 after acquiring an additional 1,339 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the third quarter valued at approximately $137,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 162.8% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,276 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $151,000 after acquiring an additional 1,410 shares in the last quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the third quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the third quarter valued at approximately $210,000. 30.42% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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