Navellier & Associates Inc purchased a new position in Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund purchased 7,522 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock, valued at approximately $801,000.
Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Systematic Financial Management LP purchased a new position in Westlake Chemical in the 3rd quarter worth about $1,238,000. James Investment Research Inc. increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 6.6% in the 4th quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 163,634 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $17,432,000 after buying an additional 10,074 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 252.9% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 592,581 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $49,509,000 after buying an additional 424,655 shares during the period. Royce & Associates LP increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 1.1% in the 3rd quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 748,884 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $62,225,000 after buying an additional 8,184 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in Westlake Chemical by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 115,384 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $9,587,000 after buying an additional 1,784 shares during the period. 32.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other news, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total value of $263,389.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,635 shares in the company, valued at approximately $653,547.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Albert Chao sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.96, for a total transaction of $2,349,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 299,018 shares in the company, valued at $28,095,731.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 79,518 shares of company stock worth $8,017,950 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 71.70% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. Vertical Research downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $104.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $122.00 target price (up previously from $112.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Johnson Rice assumed coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Monday, November 6th. They set an “accumulate” rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Bank of America downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $105.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $111.43.
Shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) opened at $111.19 on Friday. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 1-year low of $59.58 and a 1-year high of $115.19. The firm has a market cap of $14,390.21, a PE ratio of 19.37, a PEG ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 1.76 and a quick ratio of 1.59.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.69 by ($0.07). Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 16.22% and a return on equity of 16.48%. The firm had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.06 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.87 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 8.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be issued a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.76%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio is currently 8.41%.
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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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