SunTrust Banks, Inc. reiterated their buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. SunTrust Banks, Inc. currently has a $86.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Westlake Chemical Corporation’s Q3 2017 earnings at $1.47 EPS and Q4 2017 earnings at $1.21 EPS.

WLK has been the subject of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a report on Friday, August 4th. Cowen and Company reissued a buy rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a report on Friday, July 14th. BidaskClub raised shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co boosted their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $68.56.

Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) opened at 78.33 on Wednesday. Westlake Chemical Corporation has a 1-year low of $48.13 and a 1-year high of $79.13. The company’s 50-day moving average is $71.75 and its 200 day moving average is $66.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.11 billion, a PE ratio of 22.39 and a beta of 1.62.

Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.21 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.98 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2 billion. Westlake Chemical Corporation had a net margin of 6.57% and a return on equity of 13.68%. The firm’s revenue was up 82.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Corporation will post $4.66 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 18th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This is a positive change from Westlake Chemical Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.07%. Westlake Chemical Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 24.00%.

In other news, VP Mark Steven Bender sold 13,794 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.22, for a total transaction of $968,614.68. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 44,449 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,121,208.78. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 71.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 1.8% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,277,676 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $283,225,000 after buying an additional 75,728 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 15.0% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,808,967 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $185,981,000 after purchasing an additional 366,537 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 14,246.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,699,615 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $112,260,000 after purchasing an additional 1,687,768 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 14.8% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,570,608 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $103,990,000 after purchasing an additional 202,453 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC purchased a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in the second quarter valued at about $90,442,000. 31.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Westlake Chemical Corporation Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a 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 consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, water treatment, refrigerants, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK)

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