Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) has received an average rating of “Buy” from the fourteen brokerages that are covering the company, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, ten have assigned a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $77.50.
A number of brokerages recently commented on WLK. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $93.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “positive” rating and set a $94.00 price target (up from $77.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Instinet upgraded Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Nomura upgraded Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th.
Shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK) traded up 1.36% on Friday, hitting $84.92. The company had a trading volume of 855,060 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.96 billion, a PE ratio of 24.27 and a beta of 1.63. Westlake Chemical Corporation has a 52 week low of $48.92 and a 52 week high of $85.36. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $77.91 and its 200-day moving average price is $68.59.
Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $1.98 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2 billion. Westlake Chemical Corporation had a return on equity of 13.68% and a net margin of 6.57%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 82.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.85 EPS. Analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Corporation will post $4.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 18th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st were given a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.99%. This is an increase from Westlake Chemical Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. Westlake Chemical Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is 24.00%.
In related news, VP Mark Steven Bender sold 13,794 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.22, for a total transaction of $968,614.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 44,449 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,121,208.78. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 71.70% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 17.2% in the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 16,046 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,062,000 after acquiring an additional 2,360 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 4.8% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 281,586 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $18,598,000 after buying an additional 12,961 shares during the period. Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $703,000. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $317,000. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 11.7% in the 1st quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 5,967 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $394,000 after buying an additional 627 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 31.97% of the company’s stock.
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About Westlake Chemical Corporation
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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