Media coverage about Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) has been trending somewhat positive on Saturday, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. Accern identifies negative and positive media coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Westlake Chemical earned a coverage optimism score of 0.13 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave press coverage about the specialty chemicals company an impact score of 46.9128314235581 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the near term.
These are some of the media headlines that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s scoring:
Shares of WLK stock traded down $3.44 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $107.19. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,154,023 shares, compared to its average volume of 664,509. Westlake Chemical has a 12-month low of $59.58 and a 12-month high of $121.30. The company has a market capitalization of $14,317.71, a P/E ratio of 19.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 1.53. 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 (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 16.48% and a net margin of 16.22%. The business’s revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.87 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical will post 8.22 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 27th were given a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.78%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is currently 15.36%.
Several research analysts recently issued reports on WLK shares. Deutsche Bank reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. SunTrust Banks upped their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $102.00 to $113.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Alembic Global Advisors reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Vertical Research downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Wells Fargo initiated coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. They set a “hold” rating and a $120.00 price target on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $112.33.
In other Westlake Chemical news, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 24,318 shares of the firm’s 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $2,212,753.05. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CAO L. Benjamin Ederington sold 6,942 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.45, for a total transaction of $773,685.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 13,111 shares in the company, valued at $1,461,220.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 103,080 shares of company stock valued at $11,545,548. 71.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
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About Westlake Chemical
Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products primarily in North America and Europe. It operates through two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. The Olefins segment offers polyethylene, styrene monomers, and various ethylene co-products, as well as sells propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen products.
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