Westlake Chemical (WLK) Releases Earnings Results, Misses Expectations By $0.07 EPS

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) issued its earnings results on Tuesday. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07), Morningstar.com reports. The business had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.06 billion. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 7.74% and a return on equity of 15.59%. Westlake Chemical’s quarterly revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.87 earnings per share.

Shares of Westlake Chemical (WLK) opened at $106.76 on Tuesday. Westlake Chemical has a 12-month low of $59.58 and a 12-month high of $115.19. The stock has a market cap of $13,783.51, a PE ratio of 21.40, a P/E/G ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.62. 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 also recently disclosed a dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is currently 18.26%.

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 directly owns 129,078 shares in the company, valued at $12,222,395.82. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Albert Chao sold 45,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.76, for a total transaction of $4,264,200.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 299,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $28,334,945.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 182,262 shares of company stock valued at $17,288,475. 72.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WLK. Voya Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 2.5% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 11,852 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $785,000 after buying an additional 286 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 223.4% during the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 64,898 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $4,297,000 after buying an additional 44,833 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 6.0% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 575,374 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $38,095,000 after buying an additional 32,736 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical by 5.7% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,922 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $260,000 after buying an additional 211 shares during the period. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in Westlake Chemical during the third quarter worth about $204,000. 32.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on WLK. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $122.00 target price (up from $112.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Bank of America cut shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $105.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $120.00 target price for the company. Vertical Research cut shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Alembic Global Advisors reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $110.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Westlake Chemical presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $104.00.

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About Westlake Chemical

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.

Earnings History for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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