Shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the eighteen brokerages that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have assigned a hold recommendation, ten have assigned a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $111.43.
A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on WLK shares. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $114.00 target price (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Thursday, November 9th. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $102.00 to $113.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $120.00 target price on the stock. UBS Group reissued a “sell” rating and set a $61.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, Deutsche Bank reissued a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, December 13th.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) opened at $111.09 on Wednesday. Westlake Chemical has a 12 month low of $59.58 and a 12 month 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 company has a market capitalization of $14,340.00, a P/E ratio of 20.42, a P/E/G 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. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be issued a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 26th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.76%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is currently 15.44%.
In other news, EVP Lawrence E. Teel sold 9,351 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.86, for a total value of $1,046,002.86. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 4,120 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $460,863.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total transaction of $263,389.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,635 shares in the company, valued at approximately $653,547.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 52,025 shares of company stock worth $5,669,012. Insiders own 72.50% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. increased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 6,376.2% in the third quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 1,360 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,339 shares during the period. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. bought a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the third quarter worth $137,000. Advisor Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 133.8% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,501 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $159,000 after purchasing an additional 859 shares during the period. MHI Funds LLC bought a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the fourth quarter worth $163,000. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC bought a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the fourth quarter worth $200,000. 32.76% of the stock is currently 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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