Westlake Chemical’s (NYSE:WLK) “Market Perform” Rating Reiterated at Cowen

Cowen reissued their market perform rating on shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) in a report issued on Monday, May 6th, Briefing.com Automated Import reports. They currently have a $68.00 price objective on the specialty chemicals company’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $78.00.

WLK has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Alembic Global Advisors set a $105.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Barclays reissued a buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Cascend Securities began coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, April 5th. They set a buy rating and a $94.00 target price for the company. Bank of America upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from an underperform rating to a buy rating and set a $85.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, January 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $92.81.

Shares of Westlake Chemical stock traded down $0.99 on Monday, hitting $58.93. 590,017 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,128,599. The company has a quick ratio of 1.31, a current ratio of 2.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. Westlake Chemical has a 12-month low of $57.39 and a 12-month high of $120.65. The stock has a market cap of $7.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.55, a P/E/G ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.44.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.38 by ($0.44). Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 9.18% and a return on equity of 14.57%. The business had revenue of $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.09 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.20 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will post 5.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 12th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 29th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 28th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.70%. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is 12.80%.

In other news, Director H John Riley, Jr. sold 3,327 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.92, for a total transaction of $232,623.84. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 22,652 shares in the company, valued at $1,583,827.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 72.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 0.3% during the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 51,617 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $3,415,000 after acquiring an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 3.6% in the 1st quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 5,698 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $387,000 after buying an additional 198 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 58,924 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,999,000 after buying an additional 225 shares during the period. Callahan Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 6.7% during the 4th quarter. Callahan Advisors LLC now owns 4,290 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $284,000 after purchasing an additional 270 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FIL Ltd grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 0.8% during the 1st quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 38,720 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $2,628,000 after purchasing an additional 321 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 28.25% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products worldwide. It operates through two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. The Olefins segment offers polyethylene, styrene monomers, and various ethylene co-products, as well as sells propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen products.

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Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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