Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) Trading Up 5%

Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) was up 5% during trading on Monday . The stock traded as high as $63.74 and last traded at $63.66, approximately 639,531 shares were traded during trading. A decline of 27% from the average daily volume of 875,530 shares. The stock had previously closed at $60.60.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the company. Barclays downgraded Westlake Chemical from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $72.00 to $71.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 21st. UBS Group set a $54.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Nomura cut their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical from $57.00 to $53.00 and set a “reduce” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Bank of America cut shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 16th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $77.05.

The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $61.91 and a 200-day simple moving average of $66.17. The firm has a market cap of $8.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.62, a P/E/G ratio of 2.62 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 1.33 and a current ratio of 2.07.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.92 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.08. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 7.39% and a return on equity of 11.05%. The firm had revenue of $2.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.15 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $2.12 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 27th will be paid a dividend of $0.2625 per share. This represents a $1.05 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.56%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 26th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is presently 13.44%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. raised its stake in Westlake Chemical by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 9,368 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $651,000 after purchasing an additional 185 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 3.6% in the 1st quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 5,698 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $387,000 after buying an additional 198 shares during the period. Columbus Macro LLC increased its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Columbus Macro LLC now owns 8,562 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $595,000 after buying an additional 201 shares during the period. BancorpSouth Bank raised its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. BancorpSouth Bank now owns 8,504 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $591,000 after buying an additional 206 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System raised its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 58,924 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,999,000 after buying an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. 30.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products worldwide. 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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