Barings LLC increased its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 65.0% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 7,360 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,900 shares during the quarter. Barings LLC’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $612,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 1.8% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 113,600 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $7,521,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 15.1% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 26,028 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,718,000 after buying an additional 3,413 shares in the last quarter. Polaris Greystone Financial Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 9.9% in the second quarter. Polaris Greystone Financial Group LLC now owns 17,272 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,144,000 after buying an additional 1,554 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 165.2% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 45,411 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,007,000 after buying an additional 28,285 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 14.8% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,570,608 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $103,990,000 after buying an additional 202,453 shares in the last quarter. 30.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, Chairman James Chao sold 76,135 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.69, for a total transaction of $7,209,223.15. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 129,078 shares in the company, valued at $12,222,395.82. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total transaction of $263,389.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 6,635 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $653,547.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 286,622 shares of company stock valued at $27,085,548 in the last 90 days. 72.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) traded down $1.35 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $97.19. 1,099,100 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 859,890. The stock has a market capitalization of $12,540.00, a P/E ratio of 19.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 1.72. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a current ratio of 2.31. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 52 week low of $55.83 and a 52 week high of $99.71.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 27th will be issued a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 24th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.86%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.22%.
WLK has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $114.00 price objective (up from $103.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Nomura upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. UBS reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $61.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Cowen increased their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $78.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Westlake Chemical presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $96.45.
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Westlake Chemical 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.
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