Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” by Analysts

Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) has received a consensus rating of “Buy” from the seventeen research firms that are covering the company, MarketBeat reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $101.15.

A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on WLK. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Vertical Research cut Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “positive” rating and issued a $94.00 target price (up from $77.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $104.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and issued a $93.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Thursday, September 28th.

Shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE WLK) opened at $111.64 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 2.31, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $14,410.00, a P/E ratio of 24.22, a PEG ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 1.72. Westlake Chemical has a 1 year low of $57.73 and a 1 year high of $111.72.

The company 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. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 24th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 18.22%.

In other news, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total transaction of $1,263,701.64. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,195 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $962,815.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Albert Chao sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.34, for a total value of $2,358,500.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 299,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $28,209,358.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443. 72.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the third quarter worth $326,000. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. boosted its position in shares of 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 worth $113,000 after buying an additional 1,339 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 1.6% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 115,384 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $9,587,000 after buying an additional 1,784 shares during the period. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 2,024.0% in the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 4,779 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $397,000 after buying an additional 4,554 shares during the period. Finally, Highbridge Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 60.7% in the third quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC now owns 198,511 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $16,494,000 after buying an additional 75,000 shares during the period. 30.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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