Citigroup restated their buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) in a research note released on Wednesday morning, The Fly reports. The firm currently has a $133.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.
WLK has been the subject of several other reports. Vertical Research downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a buy rating and set a $104.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Friday, November 24th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated an outperform rating and set a $122.00 price target (up from $112.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Johnson Rice began coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Monday, November 6th. They set an accumulate rating and a $100.00 price target for the company. Finally, Bank of America downgraded Westlake Chemical from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $105.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $110.21.
Westlake Chemical (WLK) opened at $108.49 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $14,010.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.48, a PEG 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. Westlake Chemical has a 1-year low of $59.58 and a 1-year high of $115.19.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $2.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.06 billion. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 15.59% and a net margin of 7.74%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.87 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Westlake Chemical will post 5.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be issued a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, February 26th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.77%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 18.18%.
In related news, Chairman James Chao sold 76,135 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.69, for a total value 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total value of $263,389.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 6,635 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $653,547.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 172,153 shares of company stock valued at $16,326,098 over the last 90 days. 72.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,922 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $260,000 after acquiring an additional 211 shares during the period. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 11,852 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $785,000 after acquiring an additional 286 shares during the period. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 7.0% during the 4th quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 10,216 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $1,088,000 after acquiring an additional 664 shares during the period. Private Advisor Group LLC grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 22.4% during the 3rd quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 4,148 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $351,000 after acquiring an additional 760 shares during the period. Finally, Aperio Group LLC grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 4.8% during the 3rd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 17,650 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $1,467,000 after acquiring an additional 814 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 32.76% of the company’s stock.
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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.
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