Wall Street analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) will announce sales of $2.14 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Three analysts have made estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $2.06 billion to $2.20 billion. Westlake Chemical reported sales of $1.94 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 10.3%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, May 1st.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full year sales of $2.14 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $8.39 billion to $8.68 billion. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will report sales of $8.80 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $8.57 billion to $9.13 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow Westlake Chemical.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07). Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 16.22% and a return on equity of 16.48%. The business had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.87 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis.
WLK has been the topic of several research reports. Alembic Global Advisors restated a “buy” rating and issued a $110.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. SunTrust Banks raised their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical from $102.00 to $113.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank restated a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Wells Fargo restated a “buy” rating and issued a $112.00 price target (up previously from $105.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $104.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Friday, November 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Westlake Chemical presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $111.43.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) traded down $1.44 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $114.43. 527,531 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 783,785. Westlake Chemical has a 52-week low of $59.58 and a 52-week high of $121.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 1.76 and a quick ratio of 1.30. The stock has a market capitalization of $14,995.87, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 1.59.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th were paid a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, February 26th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.73%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 8.41%.
In other news, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 24,318 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.61, for a total transaction of $2,689,813.98. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 20,005 shares in the company, valued at $2,212,753.05. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Robert T. Blakely sold 4,038 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.00, for a total transaction of $448,218.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 7,662 shares in the company, valued at approximately $850,482. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 103,080 shares of company stock worth $11,545,548 in the last quarter. Insiders own 72.50% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 7.5% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,555,400 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $165,696,000 after purchasing an additional 108,434 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 4.1% during the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,476,810 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $157,324,000 after purchasing an additional 58,230 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 14.9% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,074,502 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $114,466,000 after purchasing an additional 139,565 shares during the period. Royce & Associates LP raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 1.1% during the third quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 748,884 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $62,225,000 after purchasing an additional 8,184 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 6.5% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 708,449 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $58,874,000 after purchasing an additional 43,282 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 30.28% 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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