Westrock Co (NYSE:WRK) Sees Significant Decrease in Short Interest

Westrock Co (NYSE:WRK) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,260,000 shares, a decrease of 10.3% from the January 15th total of 4,750,000 shares. Currently, 1.7% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,450,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.7 days.

Shares of WRK stock opened at $40.53 on Friday. Westrock has a 52-week low of $31.94 and a 52-week high of $44.39. The stock has a market cap of $10.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.17, a P/E/G ratio of 2.94 and a beta of 1.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 1.44. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $41.78 and a 200-day moving average of $38.46.

Westrock (NYSE:WRK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 30th. The basic materials company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by ($0.01). Westrock had a return on equity of 8.23% and a net margin of 4.69%. The firm had revenue of $4.42 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.38 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.83 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Westrock will post 3.25 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 14th will be issued a $0.465 dividend. This represents a $1.86 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 13th. Westrock’s payout ratio is 46.73%.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on WRK. KeyCorp restated a “sell” rating and issued a $34.00 price objective on shares of Westrock in a research note on Thursday, November 7th. ValuEngine cut shares of Westrock from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 4th. Exane BNP Paribas began coverage on shares of Westrock in a research note on Monday, December 2nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $48.00 price objective for the company. BNP Paribas began coverage on shares of Westrock in a research note on Monday, December 2nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $48.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Bank of America upgraded shares of Westrock from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, November 18th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Westrock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.78.

In other news, insider James B. Porter sold 25,753 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.04, for a total value of $1,031,150.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 47,119 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,886,644.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director John A. Luke, Jr. sold 188,659 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.67, for a total transaction of $7,672,761.53. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 689,418 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $28,038,630.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.92% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC bought a new stake in shares of Westrock in the 3rd quarter worth about $25,000. Allred Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Westrock in the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. Huntington National Bank grew its holdings in shares of Westrock by 1,394.1% in the 4th quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 762 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 711 shares during the last quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of Westrock by 40.9% in the 4th quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 902 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $39,000 after purchasing an additional 262 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cedar Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Westrock in the 4th quarter worth about $43,000. 81.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Westrock Company Profile

WestRock Company manufactures and sells paper and packaging solutions for the consumer and corrugated markets in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company operates through three segments: Corrugated Packaging, Consumer Packaging, and Land and Development. The Corrugated Packaging segment produces containerboards, corrugated sheets, corrugated packaging, and preprinted linerboards for consumer and industrial products manufacturers, and corrugated box manufacturers.

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