Renaissance Technologies LLC reduced its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 46.8% during the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 44,200 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after selling 38,900 shares during the quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $4,709,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew 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 last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew 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 last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 64.6% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 493,609 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $52,584,000 after purchasing an additional 193,756 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 95.2% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 374,624 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $39,719,000 after purchasing an additional 182,734 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,257,000. 30.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
WLK opened at $111.57 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.76, a quick ratio of 1.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The firm has a market capitalization of $14,057.58, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.40, a PEG ratio of 1.05 and a beta of 1.53. Westlake Chemical Co. has a twelve month low of $59.58 and a twelve month high of $121.30.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $2.01 billion during 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 company’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.87 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 8.48 earnings per share for the current year.
In other news, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 6,028 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total transaction of $723,360.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 17,465 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,095,800. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CAO L. Benjamin Ederington sold 6,942 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.45, for a total transaction of $773,685.90. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 13,111 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,461,220.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 103,080 shares of company stock worth $11,545,548. Company insiders own 72.00% of the company’s stock.
Several brokerages recently weighed in on WLK. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank increased their price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical from $115.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 22nd. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday, March 27th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $125.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Westlake Chemical from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, UBS restated a “sell” rating and issued a $87.00 price objective (up from $80.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, February 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, eight 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 “Hold” and an average target price of $113.80.
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Westlake Chemical Company Profile
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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