Westlake Chemical Partners (WLKP) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Westlake Chemical Partners LP is a manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. It focuses on offering ethylene co-products, including propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen. Its offerings are used for a wide variety of consumer and industrial products, including food packaging, automotive products, coatings, pipes and residential construction materials. Westlake Chemical Partners LP is headquartered in Houston, Texas. “

Separately, Citigroup set a $27.00 target price on Westlake Chemical Partners and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $26.60.

WLKP traded down $0.14 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $22.95. 21,797 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 52,299. The company has a current ratio of 3.94, a quick ratio of 4.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50. Westlake Chemical Partners has a one year low of $21.10 and a one year high of $27.75. The stock has a market cap of $760.15 million, a P/E ratio of 13.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.50 and a beta of 1.05.

Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The basic materials company reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by ($0.03). Westlake Chemical Partners had a return on equity of 5.45% and a net margin of 4.21%. The company had revenue of $363.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $309.70 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.47 EPS. Westlake Chemical Partners’s quarterly revenue was up 22.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Partners will post 1.6 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.4207 per share. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.33%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 8th. This is a boost from Westlake Chemical Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. Westlake Chemical Partners’s payout ratio is 95.35%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical Partners during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,225,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP raised its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 28.8% in the 2nd quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 33,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $818,000 after buying an additional 7,469 shares during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 10.9% in the 2nd quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 133,409 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,269,000 after buying an additional 13,087 shares during the last quarter. Tiedemann Advisors LLC raised its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 6.8% in the 2nd quarter. Tiedemann Advisors LLC now owns 345,465 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $8,464,000 after buying an additional 21,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 30.5% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 5,412,950 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $132,618,000 after buying an additional 1,264,490 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.91% of the company’s stock.

About Westlake Chemical Partners

Westlake Chemical Partners LP operates, acquires, and develops ethylene production facilities and related assets in the United States. The company operates ethylene production facilities, which primarily convert ethane into ethylene. It also sells ethylene co-products, including propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen directly to third parties on a spot or contract basis.

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