Zacks: Brokerages Expect Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) to Post $1.78 Earnings Per Share

Brokerages expect Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) to announce earnings per share (EPS) of $1.78 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have made estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.51 and the highest is $2.02. Westlake Chemical posted earnings of $1.62 per share in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 9.9%. The business is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, February 19th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full-year earnings of $8.60 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $8.46 to $8.78. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will post earnings of $8.49 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $7.92 to $9.20. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover Westlake Chemical.

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, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.24 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $2.26 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 19.75% and a net margin of 19.36%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.61 EPS.

WLK has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Deutsche Bank cut their price objective on Westlake Chemical from $115.00 to $105.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. MED reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday, September 4th. Alembic Global Advisors set a $135.00 target price on Westlake Chemical and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Westlake Chemical from $120.00 to $96.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 27th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $109.76.

NYSE WLK traded down $1.91 on Friday, hitting $68.37. 891,201 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 725,468. The company has a current ratio of 2.31, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. The company has a market cap of $9.08 billion, a PE ratio of 12.50, a PEG ratio of 0.66 and a beta of 1.59. Westlake Chemical has a twelve month low of $66.91 and a twelve month high of $124.29.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 11th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 27th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 26th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.46%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.28%.

In related news, CEO Albert Chao sold 24,509 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.20, for a total value of $1,745,040.80. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 337,013 shares in the company, valued at $23,995,325.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 72.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical in the second quarter worth approximately $130,000. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the second quarter worth approximately $157,000. One Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the third quarter worth approximately $160,000. Twin Tree Management LP bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the third quarter worth approximately $181,000. Finally, Korea Investment CORP bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the second quarter worth approximately $194,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.72% of the company’s stock.

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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