Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm bought 842,353 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $36,154,000.
A number of other large investors also recently modified their holdings of WLK. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at $3,661,000. Glenmede Trust Co. NA raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 94.9% in the first quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 406,012 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,797,000 after buying an additional 197,641 shares in the last quarter. Virginia Retirement System bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. during the first quarter valued at $3,012,000. Exane Asset Management bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. during the first quarter valued at $7,448,000. Finally, Pacad Investment Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 6.1% in the first quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. now owns 10,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $486,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. 30.29% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) traded down 0.73% during trading on Friday, hitting $50.30. 1,821,589 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $50.18 and its 200 day moving average is $46.71. The stock has a market cap of $6.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.55 and a beta of 2.04. Westlake Chemical Corp. has a 52 week low of $39.48 and a 52 week high of $63.56.
Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.11. The firm earned $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.06 billion. Westlake Chemical Corp. had a net margin of 12.48% and a return on equity of 15.42%. The company’s revenue was down 8.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.41 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Corp. will post $3.64 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a $0.1906 dividend. This is a boost from Westlake Chemical Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.52%. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s payout ratio is presently 18.91%.
A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 4th. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 target price (up previously from $53.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research note on Monday, June 13th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “sector perform” rating and set a $52.00 price target (up from $50.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 13th. SunTrust Banks Inc. raised shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $44.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 15th. Finally, Vetr cut shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.76 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, July 11th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $59.44.
In other news, VP George J. Mangieri sold 30,714 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.00, for a total transaction of $1,597,128.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 54,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,839,668. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 71.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
About Westlake Chemical Corp.
Westlake Chemical Corporation is a vertically integrated 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 diverse consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.
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