Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) shares shot up 5.7% on Monday following a dividend announcement from the company. The stock traded as high as $56.04 and last traded at $55.84, with a volume of 1,446,305 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $52.83.

The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be issued a $0.1906 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 29th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.37%. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 24.20%.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on WLK. Nomura set a $53.00 target price on Westlake Chemical Corp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 1st. Vertical Group upgraded Westlake Chemical Corp. to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their target price on Westlake Chemical Corp. from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Vetr lowered Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $48.76 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Tudor Pickering began coverage on Westlake Chemical Corp. in a report on Thursday, October 13th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $53.00 target price for the company. Five 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 company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $56.80.

The firm has a market cap of $7.18 billion, a PE ratio of 17.83 and a beta of 1.89. The company has a 50-day moving average of $52.88 and a 200-day moving average of $48.35.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 8th. The company reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.39. Westlake Chemical Corp. had a net margin of 9.50% and a return on equity of 13.56%. The firm earned $1.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.52 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.39 EPS. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s quarterly revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Westlake Chemical Corp. will post $3.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Albert Chao sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.95, for a total value of $1,059,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 264,702 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,015,970.90. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,880 shares of the business’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 completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 11,035 shares in the company, valued at $600,524.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 71.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Toronto Dominion Bank bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. during the third quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $167,000. MSI Financial Services Inc boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. by 22.4% in the third quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc now owns 3,493 shares of the company’s stock valued at $187,000 after buying an additional 640 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. by 508.3% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,568 shares of the company’s stock valued at $196,000 after buying an additional 3,817 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Profund Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. during the third quarter valued at approximately $207,000. 26.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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