Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC grew its stake in Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 2.7% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 116,290 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after buying an additional 3,040 shares during the period. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $12,389,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. boosted its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 6,376.2% in the 3rd quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 1,360 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 1,339 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 133.8% in the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,501 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $159,000 after buying an additional 859 shares in the last quarter. MHI Funds LLC acquired a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 4th quarter valued at $163,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 3rd quarter valued at $137,000. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 4th quarter valued at $233,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.28% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have recently issued reports on WLK shares. Alembic Global Advisors restated a “buy” rating and issued a $110.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical from $102.00 to $113.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $112.00 price target (up previously from $105.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $104.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Westlake Chemical presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $111.43.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $2.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 16.48% and a net margin of 16.22%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.87 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 8.07 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 26th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.71%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is currently 15.44%.
In other Westlake Chemical news, CAO L. Benjamin Ederington sold 6,942 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.45, for a total transaction of $773,685.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 13,111 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,461,220.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 6,028 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total transaction of $723,360.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 17,465 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,095,800. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 103,080 shares of company stock valued at $11,545,548. 72.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Westlake Chemical Profile
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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