SunTrust Banks reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) in a research note released on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $121.00 price objective on the specialty chemicals company’s stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Westlake Chemical’s Q1 2018 earnings at $2.28 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $2.65 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $2.58 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.96 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $9.47 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $9.70 EPS.
A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on WLK. Johnson Rice started coverage on shares of 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 raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Nomura increased their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $98.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Bank of America increased their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $88.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, UBS Group reissued a sell rating and set a $61.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Westlake Chemical presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $111.43.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE WLK) opened at $112.19 on Friday. Westlake Chemical has a one year low of $59.58 and a one year high of $115.19. The company has a quick ratio of 1.30, a current ratio of 1.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The firm has a market cap of $14,470.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.62, a PEG ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 1.62.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.75%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 15.44%.
In other Westlake Chemical news, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total transaction of $263,389.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,635 shares in the company, valued at $653,547.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.97, for a total transaction of $443,880.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 22,810 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,531,225.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 54,518 shares of company stock valued at $5,668,950 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 72.50% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Systematic Financial Management LP bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the third quarter valued at about $1,238,000. James Investment Research Inc. boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 6.6% during the fourth quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 163,634 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $17,432,000 after acquiring an additional 10,074 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 252.9% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 592,581 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $49,509,000 after acquiring an additional 424,655 shares during the period. Royce & Associates LP boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 1.1% during the third quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 748,884 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $62,225,000 after acquiring an additional 8,184 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 1.6% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 115,384 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $9,587,000 after acquiring an additional 1,784 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 32.76% of the company’s stock.
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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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