Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) has been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the twenty analysts that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have assigned a hold recommendation and eight have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $107.40.
Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Alembic Global Advisors reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Monday. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $108.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Monday, August 6th. Zacks Investment Research reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Saturday, November 17th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “positive” rating and set a $81.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, November 15th. Finally, MED reissued a “buy” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, August 2nd.
NYSE:WLK opened at $71.82 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $8.87 billion, a PE ratio of 13.13, a P/E/G ratio of 0.64 and a beta of 1.59. Westlake Chemical has a 1 year low of $66.91 and a 1 year high of $124.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 2.31 and a quick ratio of 1.59.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.24 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $2.26 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 19.75% and a net margin of 19.36%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.61 EPS. Research analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will post 8.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 11th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 27th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.39%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 26th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.28%.
In related news, CEO Albert Chao sold 24,509 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.20, for a total transaction of $1,745,040.80. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 337,013 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,995,325.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 72.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 36,591 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,907,000 after purchasing an additional 513 shares in the last quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 9,117 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $981,000 after purchasing an additional 709 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 36.8% during the 3rd quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,739 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $228,000 after purchasing an additional 737 shares in the last quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 37.5% during the 3rd quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 2,891 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $240,000 after purchasing an additional 789 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 2.4% during the 3rd quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 35,320 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $2,935,000 after purchasing an additional 817 shares in the last quarter. 30.43% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Westlake Chemical
Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products primarily in North America and Europe. It operates through two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. The Olefins segment offers polyethylene, styrene monomers, and various ethylene co-products, as well as sells propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen products.
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