Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) has been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the twenty-one research firms that are covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eleven have issued a hold recommendation and seven have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $114.81.

WLK has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded Westlake Chemical from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, June 11th. Cowen downgraded Westlake Chemical from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $120.00 to $100.00 in a research report on Friday, September 7th. MED reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, June 5th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price target on Westlake Chemical from $120.00 to $105.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 29th.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. LS Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $116,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the second quarter valued at approximately $130,000. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the first quarter valued at approximately $142,000. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the second quarter valued at approximately $157,000. Finally, Korea Investment CORP bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical in the second quarter valued at approximately $194,000. Institutional investors own 30.81% of the company’s stock.

Shares of WLK traded down $0.31 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $85.95. 716,200 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 824,649. The company has a market cap of $10.88 billion, a PE ratio of 15.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.76 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a current ratio of 2.27, a quick ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. Westlake Chemical has a 12 month low of $79.98 and a 12 month high of $124.29.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.52 by ($0.30). The business had revenue of $2.24 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.19 billion. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 18.55% and a return on equity of 19.44%. The business’s revenue was up 12.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.21 EPS. analysts predict that Westlake Chemical will post 8.76 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 12th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 28th were given a $0.25 dividend. This is an increase from Westlake Chemical’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 27th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.16%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is presently 18.28%.

About Westlake Chemical

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products primarily in North America and Europe. It operates through two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. The Olefins segment offers polyethylene, styrene monomers, and various ethylene co-products, as well as sells propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen products.

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Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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