Zacks Investment Management purchased a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund purchased 17,693 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,171,000.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in WLK. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,277,676 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $283,225,000 after acquiring an additional 75,728 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 15.0% in the 2nd 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 in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 14,246.4% in the 1st 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 in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 14.8% in the 2nd 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in Westlake Chemical Corporation by 12.1% in the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,308,381 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $86,420,000 after purchasing an additional 141,114 shares in the last quarter. 31.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

WLK has been the subject of several research reports. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a report on Thursday. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “positive” rating and issued a $94.00 target price (up previously from $77.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Nomura raised Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Instinet upgraded Westlake Chemical Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $76.50.

Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK) opened at 83.09 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $73.94 and a 200-day moving average price of $67.25. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.72 billion, a PE ratio of 23.75 and a beta of 1.63. Westlake Chemical Corporation has a 12-month low of $48.92 and a 12-month high of $84.58.

Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.21 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.02. Westlake Chemical Corporation had a return on equity of 13.68% and a net margin of 6.57%. The business had revenue of $1.98 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.85 earnings per share. Westlake Chemical Corporation’s revenue was up 82.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Corporation will post $4.80 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 18th. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st were paid a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.01%. This is a boost from Westlake Chemical Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. Westlake Chemical Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.00%.

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In other Westlake Chemical Corporation news, VP Mark Steven Bender sold 13,794 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.22, for a total transaction of $968,614.68. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 44,449 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,121,208.78. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Company insiders own 72.50% of the company’s stock.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK)

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