Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Vertical Group to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on WLK. TheStreet upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Vetr downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $48.76 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, August 8th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a report on Friday, September 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $60.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 11th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the company from $47.00 to $59.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.80.

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

Shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) opened at 55.72 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $52.88 and its 200 day moving average price is $48.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.83 and a beta of 1.89. Westlake Chemical Corp. has a one year low of $39.48 and a one year high of $60.95.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be given a $0.1906 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.37%. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s payout ratio is presently 24.20%.

In other news, insider Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,880 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.42, for a total value of $156,729.60. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 11,035 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $600,524.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Albert Chao sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.95, for a total transaction 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. 71.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WLK. Toronto Dominion Bank purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $107,000. 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 worth $187,000 after buying an additional 640 shares during the last quarter. Profund Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $207,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in Westlake Chemical Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $167,000. Finally, 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 worth $196,000 after buying an additional 3,817 shares during the last quarter. 26.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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