Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 20.0% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 334,961 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after acquiring an additional 55,899 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC owned 0.26% of Westlake Chemical worth $35,683,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the stock. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 5.7% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,922 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $260,000 after acquiring an additional 211 shares during the period. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 7.0% in the 4th quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 10,216 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,088,000 after acquiring an additional 664 shares during the period. Private Advisor Group LLC increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 22.4% in the 3rd quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 4,148 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $351,000 after acquiring an additional 760 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in 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 acquiring an additional 859 shares during the period. Finally, Driehaus Capital Management LLC increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 10.8% in the 4th quarter. Driehaus Capital Management LLC now owns 9,480 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $1,010,000 after acquiring an additional 922 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.28% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Vertical Research cut Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $104.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Wells Fargo restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $122.00 price target (up previously from $112.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Bank of America cut Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $105.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, UBS reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $87.00 price objective (up previously from $80.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, February 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $111.43.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07). Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 16.22% and a return on equity of 16.48%. The business had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.87 EPS. Westlake Chemical’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 8.07 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th were paid a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 8.41%.
In other news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was 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 approximately $2,531,225.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 24,318 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.61, for a total value of $2,689,813.98. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 20,005 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,212,753.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 103,080 shares of company stock worth $11,545,548 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 72.50% of the company’s stock.
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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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