Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC decreased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 30.3% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 25,518 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 11,090 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $2,120,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the business. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 1.8% in the 2nd 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 increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 15.1% in the 1st 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 increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 9.9% in the 2nd 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. increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 165.2% in the 2nd 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 increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 14.8% in the 2nd 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. Institutional investors own 30.42% of the company’s stock.
In other news, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total transaction of $1,263,701.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,195 shares in the company, valued at approximately $962,815.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 6,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.83, for a total transaction of $635,895.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 293,122 shares of company stock valued at $27,721,443. Company insiders own 71.70% of the company’s stock.
Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE WLK) traded down $0.55 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $100.96. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,042,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 856,945. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 52-week low of $55.83 and a 52-week high of $102.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a current ratio of 2.31. The company has a market cap of $13,105.69, a PE ratio of 20.34, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 1.71.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 27th were paid a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 24th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.83%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is 18.26%.
A number of equities analysts have issued reports on WLK shares. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $114.00 target price (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Nomura upgraded 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 set a $61.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Deutsche Bank reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Cowen increased their target price on Westlake Chemical from $78.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Westlake Chemical has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $99.50.
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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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