Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) – Investment analysts at SunTrust Banks increased their FY2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Westlake Chemical in a report issued on Friday, according to Zacks Investment Research. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Sheehan now expects that the specialty chemicals company will post earnings per share of $5.58 for the year, up from their previous forecast of $5.23. SunTrust Banks has a “Buy” rating and a $102.00 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Westlake Chemical’s Q4 2017 earnings at $1.72 EPS.
Several other equities analysts also recently commented on WLK. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Cowen boosted their price objective on Westlake Chemical from $70.00 to $78.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Instinet raised Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Nomura upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $96.45.
Shares of Westlake Chemical (WLK) traded up $1.22 on Monday, hitting $98.41. The company had a trading volume of 723,849 shares, compared to its average volume of 859,308. The company has a market capitalization of $12,540.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 1.72. The company has a quick ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 2.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. Westlake Chemical has a one year low of $55.83 and a one year high of $99.71.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 27th will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.85%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 24th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.22%.
In other news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 29,804 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.02, for a total transaction of $2,802,172.08. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 74,253 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,981,267.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Albert Chao sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.34, for a total value of $2,358,500.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 299,018 shares in the company, valued at $28,209,358.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443 over the last ninety days. 72.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Private Advisor Group LLC lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 3,388 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $229,000 after buying an additional 103 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 5.7% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,922 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $260,000 after buying an additional 211 shares in the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 11,852 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $785,000 after buying an additional 286 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 4.5% in the 2nd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 6,805 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $451,000 after buying an additional 296 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 6.8% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 6,805 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $451,000 after buying an additional 435 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.42% of the company’s stock.
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Westlake Chemical Company 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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