Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) had its target price dropped by equities researchers at SunTrust Banks from $65.00 to $47.00 in a report released on Thursday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has a “hold” rating on the specialty chemicals company’s stock. SunTrust Banks’ price target indicates a potential upside of 14.91% from the company’s previous close.
Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on WLK. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their price target on Westlake Chemical from $70.00 to $42.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 20th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, February 19th. Vertical Research upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 21st. Tudor Pickering upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $64.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 25th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reduced their price target on Westlake Chemical from $78.00 to $63.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 19th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Westlake Chemical presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.13.
Shares of WLK traded up $0.14 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $40.90. The stock had a trading volume of 169,972 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,255,262. The firm has a market cap of $4.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.58, a PEG ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.57. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $51.68 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.03. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 2.21 and a quick ratio of 1.46. Westlake Chemical has a 52 week low of $28.99 and a 52 week high of $78.08.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 18th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by ($0.50). The firm had revenue of $1.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.93 billion. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 5.19% and a return on equity of 7.08%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.95 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will post 2.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, CEO Albert Chao sold 51,592 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.42, for a total value of $3,220,372.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 421,448 shares in the company, valued at approximately $26,306,784.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Ttwfgp Llc acquired 160,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 16th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $29.87 per share, with a total value of $4,779,200.00. Over the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 635,000 shares of company stock valued at $21,153,950. 72.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WLK. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 10.6% in the 3rd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 12,761 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $836,000 after acquiring an additional 1,221 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 930,419 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $60,961,000 after acquiring an additional 6,459 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 56,437 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,698,000 after acquiring an additional 310 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 3.9% in the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 286,857 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $20,124,000 after acquiring an additional 10,716 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BancorpSouth Bank lifted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. BancorpSouth Bank now owns 8,602 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $603,000 after acquiring an additional 337 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.36% of the company’s stock.
About Westlake Chemical
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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