Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,172,825 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after acquiring an additional 8,496 shares during the quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $77,597,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in WLK. Penserra Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the 4th quarter worth about $37,000. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 227.0% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,165 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $210,000 after acquiring an additional 2,197 shares during the period. M&T Bank Corp acquired a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the 4th quarter worth about $232,000. Unison Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the 4th quarter worth about $235,000. Finally, Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 12.6% during the 4th quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 4,206 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $278,000 after acquiring an additional 472 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 28.23% of the company’s stock.

Shares of WLK stock opened at $62.98 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 2.14, a quick ratio of 1.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. Westlake Chemical Co. has a twelve month low of $57.39 and a twelve month high of $124.29. The company has a market capitalization of $8.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.06, a P/E/G ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.44.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.38 by ($0.44). Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 9.18% and a return on equity of 14.57%. The company had revenue of $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.09 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $2.20 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 5.69 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 12th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 29th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 28th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 12.80%.

In related news, Director H John Riley, Jr. sold 3,327 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.92, for a total value of $232,623.84. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 22,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,583,827.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 72.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Barclays restated a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Cowen reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. Nomura upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $70.00 to $79.00 in a report on Monday, April 15th. ValuEngine lowered Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. Finally, Cascend Securities began coverage on Westlake Chemical in a report on Friday, April 5th. They set a “buy” rating and a $94.00 price target for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $92.81.

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Westlake Chemical Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products worldwide. 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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