ValuEngine Lowers Westlake Chemical (WLK) to Hold

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Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) was downgraded by stock analysts at ValuEngine from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on WLK. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday, April 17th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $121.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Friday, February 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $110.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, April 9th. Citigroup reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, February 21st. Finally, MED reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Thursday, May 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Westlake Chemical currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $118.06.

Westlake Chemical traded down $0.47, reaching $109.53, during mid-day trading on Monday, according to Marketbeat Ratings. 768,670 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 819,315. Westlake Chemical has a 1 year low of $61.51 and a 1 year high of $124.29. The company has a market capitalization of $14.26 billion, a PE ratio of 20.02, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.02 and a beta of 1.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 1.22 and a current ratio of 1.79.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.11. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 17.61% and a return on equity of 17.77%. The firm had revenue of $2.15 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.14 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.06 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will post 8.86 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Chairman James Chao sold 33,305 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.69, for a total value of $4,019,580.45. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 51,492 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,214,569.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 1,447 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.88, for a total transaction of $172,019.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 2,642 shares in the company, valued at $314,080.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 70,376 shares of company stock worth $8,437,710. Insiders own 72.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 194.9% during the first quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 26,255 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $2,918,000 after purchasing an additional 17,352 shares during the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 119.3% during the first quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 193,783 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $21,539,000 after purchasing an additional 105,418 shares during the last quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 82.4% during the first quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 13,718 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $1,525,000 after purchasing an additional 6,196 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 18.2% during the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 489,915 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $54,455,000 after purchasing an additional 75,530 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Marvin & Palmer Associates Inc. increased its position in Westlake Chemical by 13.2% during the first quarter. Marvin & Palmer Associates Inc. now owns 37,246 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $4,140,000 after purchasing an additional 4,356 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.70% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical Company Profile

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.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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