Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 20.0% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 334,961 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after purchasing an additional 55,899 shares during the quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC owned about 0.26% of Westlake Chemical worth $35,683,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. raised its stake in Westlake Chemical by 6,376.2% in the third quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 1,360 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 1,339 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the third quarter valued at about $137,000. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical by 133.8% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,501 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $159,000 after purchasing an additional 859 shares during the last quarter. MHI Funds LLC purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the fourth quarter worth about $163,000. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the fourth quarter worth about $233,000. 30.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several brokerages have recently issued reports on WLK. JPMorgan Chase cut Westlake Chemical from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $110.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, March 27th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $125.00 price target for the company. Deutsche Bank lifted their price target on Westlake Chemical from $115.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Westlake Chemical from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, UBS reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $87.00 price objective (up from $80.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, February 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $112.73.
NYSE:WLK traded up $0.85 on Thursday, reaching $108.92. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 778,847 shares, compared to its average volume of 799,916. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 12-month low of $59.58 and a 12-month high of $121.30. The company has a quick ratio of 1.30, a current ratio of 1.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The company has a market capitalization of $14,108.05, a P/E ratio of 19.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.05 and a beta of 1.53.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 16.22% and a return on equity of 16.48%. Westlake Chemical’s quarterly revenue was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.87 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 8.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 27th were paid a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, February 26th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.77%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 15.36%.
In other news, Director Max L. Lukens sold 17,558 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.93, for a total transaction of $1,947,708.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,380 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $374,943.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 6,028 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $723,360.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 17,465 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,095,800. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 103,080 shares of company stock valued at $11,545,548 over the last three months. 71.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
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About Westlake Chemical
Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products primarily in North America and Europe. 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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