Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) Hits New 12-Month High After Earnings Beat


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Shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Tuesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The company traded as high as $98.16 and last traded at $97.91, with a volume of 728454 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $94.79.

The specialty chemicals company reported $1.87 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.31. The company had revenue of $2.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.05 billion. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 5.14% and a return on equity of 4.74%. Westlake Chemical’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.13 EPS.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 2nd were issued a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 1st. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.10%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.13%.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical from $92.00 to $98.00 in a report on Monday, March 8th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $87.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 14th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 23rd. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $104.00 to $114.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 1st. Finally, KeyCorp upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $124.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, April 19th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Westlake Chemical currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $83.56.

In other news, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 16,513 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.69, for a total value of $1,547,102.97. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 21,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,056,589.19. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CAO Johnathan Stevan Zoeller sold 1,006 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.94, for a total transaction of $87,461.64. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 1,006 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $87,461.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 92,519 shares of company stock worth $8,415,449 in the last ninety days. 73.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the 4th quarter worth about $41,000. IFP Advisors Inc bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 1st quarter valued at about $44,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 3,154.4% during the 1st quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,855 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $166,000 after buying an additional 1,798 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 4th quarter valued at about $204,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 4th quarter valued at about $214,000. 28.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

The company has a current ratio of 2.85, a quick ratio of 2.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The business’s 50-day moving average is $91.93 and its two-hundred day moving average is $83.59. The firm has a market cap of $12.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.84, a P/E/G ratio of 38.49 and a beta of 1.62.

Westlake Chemical Company Profile (NYSE:WLK)

Westlake Chemical Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products worldwide. It operates through two segments, Vinyls and Olefins. The Vinyls segment provides specialty and commodity polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride monomers, ethylene dichloride, chlorine, caustic soda, chlorinated derivative, and ethylene products.

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