News coverage about Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) has been trending somewhat positive this week, according to Accern. Accern rates the sentiment of press coverage by analyzing more than twenty million news and blog sources. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Westlake Chemical earned a media sentiment score of 0.13 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media coverage about the specialty chemicals company an impact score of 46.9128314235581 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the immediate future.
Here are some of the headlines that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s rankings:
Several brokerages have issued reports on WLK. Zacks Investment Research lowered Westlake Chemical from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank boosted their price target on Westlake Chemical from $115.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. UBS Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $87.00 price target (up from $80.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Wednesday, February 21st. Alembic Global Advisors reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Friday, November 24th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $111.43.
Shares of Westlake Chemical (WLK) traded down $0.83 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $115.52. The stock had a trading volume of 475,576 shares, compared to its average volume of 792,443. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 1.76 and a quick ratio of 1.30. Westlake Chemical has a one year low of $59.58 and a one year high of $121.30. The firm has a market capitalization of $15,289.66, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.56, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.59.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.69 by ($0.07). Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 16.48% and a net margin of 16.22%. The firm had revenue of $2.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.06 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.87 earnings per share. Westlake Chemical’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Westlake Chemical will post 8.07 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th were given a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 8.41%.
In other news, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 24,318 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.61, for a total transaction of $2,689,813.98. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 20,005 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,212,753.05. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 19,349 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $113.04, for a total value of $2,187,210.96. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 14,731 shares in the company, valued at $1,665,192.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 103,080 shares of company stock worth $11,545,548 over the last ninety days. 71.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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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