Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) was downgraded by investment analysts at Bank of America from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. They presently have a $105.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock. Bank of America’s target price would suggest a potential downside of 7.85% from the stock’s previous close. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on WLK. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $93.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Wells Fargo & Co began coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $120.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $120.00 price target for the company. Nomura raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Vertical Research lowered shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $103.07.

Westlake Chemical (WLK) traded up $0.69 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $113.94. 328,300 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 628,789. The company has a quick ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 2.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $14,520.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.72. Westlake Chemical has a 1-year low of $58.97 and a 1-year high of $114.34.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.39 by $0.26. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 7.74% and a return on equity of 15.59%. equities research analysts predict that Westlake Chemical will post 5.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Westlake Chemical news, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 2,674 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.50, for a total transaction of $263,389.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 6,635 shares in the company, valued at $653,547.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total value of $1,263,701.64. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 10,195 shares in the company, valued at approximately $962,815.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443 in the last 90 days. 72.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 1.8% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,277,676 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $283,225,000 after purchasing an additional 75,728 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 15.0% during 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 last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical during the second quarter valued at approximately $90,442,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 218.5% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 934,937 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $77,683,000 after purchasing an additional 641,432 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Royce & Associates LP grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 1.1% during the third quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 748,884 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $62,225,000 after purchasing an additional 8,184 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.42% of the company’s stock.

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Westlake Chemical 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 (NYSE:WLK)

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