Royal Bank of Canada Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Westlake Chemical (WLK)

Royal Bank of Canada reissued their buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) in a report released on Tuesday. They currently have a $130.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on WLK. SunTrust Banks boosted 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. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $120.00 price objective on the stock. Alembic Global Advisors reissued a buy rating and issued a $110.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Wells Fargo started coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. They issued a hold rating and a $120.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase cut shares of Westlake Chemical from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $110.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, April 9th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Westlake Chemical has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $113.80.

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Shares of WLK opened at $112.85 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 1.30 and a current ratio of 1.76. The firm has a market capitalization of $14,439.37, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.63, a PEG ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 1.53. Westlake Chemical has a 1 year low of $59.58 and a 1 year high of $121.30.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings data 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 firm had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.06 billion. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 16.22% and a return on equity of 16.48%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.87 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will post 8.48 EPS for the current year.

In related news, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 6,028 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $723,360.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 17,465 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,095,800. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 19,349 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $113.04, for a total transaction of $2,187,210.96. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 14,731 shares in the company, valued at $1,665,192.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 103,080 shares of company stock worth $11,545,548. Corporate insiders own 72.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 3.0% in the 3rd quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 155,679 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $12,935,000 after buying an additional 4,600 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 21.8% in the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 28,793 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $2,393,000 after buying an additional 5,154 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 13.0% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 76,709 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $6,374,000 after buying an additional 8,812 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 191,890 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $15,945,000 after buying an additional 2,688 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Asset Management One Co. Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 3rd quarter worth about $708,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.29% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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