Todays Report: Today, Westlake Chemical Corp. (WLK) Upgrade at Vertical Group

Today, Westlake Chemical Corp. (WLK) Upgrade at Vertical Group

Vertical Group upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday.

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on WLK. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $60.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, November 11th. Tudor Pickering initiated coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research report on Thursday, October 13th. They set a hold rating and a $53.00 target price for the company. Vertical Research upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a neutral rating and set a $51.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Finally, Vetr lowered shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $54.51 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, September 5th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Westlake Chemical Corp. presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $56.80.

Shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) opened at 55.26 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.12 billion, a PE ratio of 17.68 and a beta of 1.89. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $52.97 and its 200 day moving average is $48.40. Westlake Chemical Corp. has a 52-week low of $39.48 and a 52-week high of $60.65.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 8th. The company reported $0.51 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.39. The firm had revenue of $1.28 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.52 billion. Westlake Chemical Corp. had a net margin of 9.50% and a return on equity of 13.56%. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.39 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Corp. will post $3.73 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.1906 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 29th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.38%. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.20%.

In related news, CEO Albert Chao sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.15, for a total transaction of $1,083,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 264,702 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,333,613.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,880 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.42, for a total transaction of $156,729.60. Following the sale, the insider now owns 11,035 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $600,524.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 71.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. CIBC Asset Management Inc increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 0.7% in the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 5,510 shares of the company’s stock worth $236,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. BancorpSouth Inc increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 1.1% in the third quarter. BancorpSouth Inc now owns 5,695 shares of the company’s stock worth $305,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. Paradigm Capital Management Inc. NY increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 1.0% in the third quarter. Paradigm Capital Management Inc. NY now owns 19,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,059,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 7.5% in the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,912 shares of the company’s stock worth $263,000 after buying an additional 344 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ARGI Investment Services LLC increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 2.5% in the third quarter. ARGI Investment Services LLC now owns 19,019 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,018,000 after buying an additional 464 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 26.18% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical Corp. Company Profile

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