Equities researchers at Tudor Pickering initiated coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) in a report released on Thursday. The firm set a “hold” rating and a $53.00 price target on the stock. Tudor Pickering’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 1.24% from the stock’s previous close.

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. TheStreet upgraded Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. SunTrust Banks Inc. upgraded Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $44.00 to $52.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Vetr lowered Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $48.76 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Nomura restated a “hold” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $51.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $56.40.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK)

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) opened at 52.35 on Thursday. Westlake Chemical Corp. has a 12-month low of $39.48 and a 12-month high of $63.56. The company has a 50 day moving average of $51.76 and a 200-day moving average of $47.42. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.06 and a beta of 1.88.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.11. The firm earned $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.06 billion. Westlake Chemical Corp. had a net margin of 12.48% and a return on equity of 15.42%. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s quarterly revenue was down 8.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.41 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Corp. will post $3.69 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a $0.1906 dividend. This is an increase from Westlake Chemical Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.91%.

In related news, VP George J. Mangieri sold 30,714 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.00, for a total value of $1,597,128.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 54,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,839,668. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 71.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WLK. CIBC Asset Management Inc increased its position in Westlake Chemical Corp. by 0.7% in the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 5,510 shares of the company’s stock valued at $236,000 after buying an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Menta Capital LLC increased its position in Westlake Chemical Corp. by 1.9% in the first quarter. Menta Capital LLC now owns 16,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $745,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Algert Global LLC increased its position in Westlake Chemical Corp. by 2.3% in the second quarter. Algert Global LLC now owns 23,541 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,010,000 after buying an additional 521 shares in the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp increased its position in Westlake Chemical Corp. by 10.3% in the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 6,178 shares of the company’s stock valued at $286,000 after buying an additional 576 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TrimTabs Asset Management LLC increased its position in Westlake Chemical Corp. by 2.0% in the second quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 30,284 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,300,000 after buying an additional 590 shares in the last quarter. 30.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Westlake Chemical Corp. Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a vertically integrated global manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. The Company’s products include a range of chemicals, which are fundamental to various diverse consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WLK

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