Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07), Morningstar.com reports. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 15.59% and a net margin of 7.74%. The business had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.06 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.87 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year.
Shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE WLK) opened at $106.96 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 2.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $13,810.00, a PE ratio of 23.20, a P/E/G ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.62. Westlake Chemical has a fifty-two week low of $59.58 and a fifty-two week high of $115.19.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be issued a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.79%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.22%.
Several research analysts recently commented on WLK shares. Citigroup started coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $97.00 price target on the stock. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $93.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Johnson Rice started coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research note on Monday, November 6th. They issued an “accumulate” rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, Nomura boosted their price target on Westlake Chemical from $98.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $106.57.
In related news, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total value of $263,389.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,635 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $653,547.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Albert Chao sold 45,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.76, for a total value of $4,264,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 299,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $28,334,945.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 172,153 shares of company stock valued at $16,326,098. 72.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WLK. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 5.7% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,922 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $260,000 after purchasing an additional 211 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 2.5% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 11,852 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $785,000 after purchasing an additional 286 shares during the last quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 7.0% during the fourth quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 10,216 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,088,000 after purchasing an additional 664 shares during the last quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 22.4% during the third quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 4,148 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $351,000 after purchasing an additional 760 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 4.8% during the third quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 17,650 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,467,000 after purchasing an additional 814 shares during the last quarter. 32.76% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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