Cowen Lowers Westlake Chemical (WLK) to Market Perform

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Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) was downgraded by equities researchers at Cowen from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday, The Fly reports. They presently have a $100.00 target price on the specialty chemicals company’s stock, down from their prior target price of $120.00. Cowen’s target price indicates a potential upside of 8.70% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on WLK. Zacks Investment Research raised Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 27th. ValuEngine lowered Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. MED reissued a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, May 17th. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research note on Wednesday, June 20th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $150.00 price target on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price target on Westlake Chemical from $120.00 to $105.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $115.12.

Shares of NYSE:WLK opened at $92.00 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $12.07 billion, a PE ratio of 11.70, a PEG ratio of 0.80 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a current ratio of 2.27. Westlake Chemical has a 12 month low of $76.30 and a 12 month high of $124.29.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.22 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.52 by ($0.30). The firm had revenue of $2.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.19 billion. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 19.44% and a net margin of 18.55%. Westlake Chemical’s revenue was up 12.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.21 EPS. analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will post 8.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WLK. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 21.2% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,372,944 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $793,550,000 after purchasing an additional 1,291,053 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 2,586.0% during the 2nd quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 599,012 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $3,714,000 after purchasing an additional 576,711 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 26.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,933,430 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $208,094,000 after purchasing an additional 398,951 shares during the last quarter. Capital Growth Management LP acquired a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 1st quarter worth approximately $40,014,000. Finally, Glenmede Trust Co. NA raised its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 4,470.5% during the 2nd quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 199,733 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $21,497,000 after purchasing an additional 195,363 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 31.50% of the company’s stock.

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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