Highland Capital Management LLC Decreases Stake in WestRock (NYSE:WRK)

Highland Capital Management LLC lessened its holdings in WestRock (NYSE:WRKGet Rating) by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 68,880 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 320 shares during the quarter. Highland Capital Management LLC’s holdings in WestRock were worth $2,744,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in WRK. Greenhaven Associates Inc. purchased a new position in WestRock in the 1st quarter valued at $337,501,000. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of WestRock during the fourth quarter worth about $262,710,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in WestRock by 7.3% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,390,460 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,053,023,000 after purchasing an additional 1,516,498 shares during the last quarter. Ninety One UK Ltd purchased a new stake in WestRock in the first quarter valued at approximately $62,641,000. Finally, Lansdowne Partners UK LLP raised its stake in shares of WestRock by 43.0% during the first quarter. Lansdowne Partners UK LLP now owns 4,262,556 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $200,477,000 after purchasing an additional 1,281,042 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.52% of the company’s stock.

WestRock Stock Performance

WRK stock opened at $32.83 on Friday. The business’s fifty day moving average is $40.35 and its 200-day moving average is $44.10. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. The company has a market cap of $8.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.48 and a beta of 1.03. WestRock has a twelve month low of $32.67 and a twelve month high of $54.78.

WestRock (NYSE:WRKGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The basic materials company reported $1.54 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.50 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $5.52 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.51 billion. WestRock had a return on equity of 10.42% and a net margin of 4.41%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 14.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.00 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that WestRock will post 4.8 EPS for the current year.

WestRock Dividend Announcement

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 24th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 12th were issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.05%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 11th. WestRock’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.57%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of research firms recently commented on WRK. Citigroup lowered WestRock from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $53.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. TheStreet upgraded WestRock from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Wells Fargo & Company decreased their target price on WestRock from $66.00 to $59.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 26th. StockNews.com raised WestRock from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut their target price on WestRock from $59.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $47.29.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other WestRock news, insider John L. O’neal sold 5,173 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.55, for a total transaction of $220,111.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 46,305 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,970,277.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In other news, insider John L. O’neal sold 5,173 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.55, for a total value of $220,111.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 46,305 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,970,277.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director James E. Nevels sold 2,483 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.36, for a total transaction of $105,179.88. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 14,326 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $606,849.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

About WestRock

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WestRock Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides fiber-based paper and packaging solutions in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It operates through two segments, Corrugated Packaging and Consumer Packaging. The Corrugated Packaging segment produces containerboards, corrugated sheets, corrugated packaging, and preprinted linerboards to consumer and industrial products manufacturers, and corrugated box manufacturers.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for WestRock (NYSE:WRK)

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