California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 0.4% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 58,924 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after purchasing an additional 225 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System’s holdings in Westlake Chemical were worth $3,999,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of WLK. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 2.2% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 5,269,764 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $437,970,000 after purchasing an additional 112,200 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 18.1% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 41,699 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $2,759,000 after buying an additional 6,379 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers increased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 38,655 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $2,558,000 after buying an additional 1,248 shares in the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 51,617 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $3,415,000 after buying an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Finally, M&T Bank Corp bought a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical in the fourth quarter valued at $232,000. Institutional investors own 28.24% of the company’s stock.

In other Westlake Chemical news, Director H John Riley, Jr. sold 3,327 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.92, for a total transaction of $232,623.84. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 22,652 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,583,827.84. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 72.60% of the company’s stock.

NYSE WLK opened at $63.76 on Friday. Westlake Chemical Co. has a twelve month low of $57.20 and a twelve month high of $112.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a quick ratio of 1.31 and a current ratio of 2.14. The company has a market cap of $8.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.16, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.49.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.38 by ($0.44). Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 14.57% and a net margin of 9.18%. The firm had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.09 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.20 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 5.18 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 12th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 29th were given a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, May 28th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 12.80%.

WLK has been the topic of several research reports. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Cowen reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $78.00 price target (down previously from $80.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Monday, February 25th. Susquehanna Bancshares reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $75.00 price target (down previously from $88.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday, February 26th. Cascend Securities initiated coverage on Westlake Chemical in a report on Friday, April 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $94.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Nomura raised Westlake Chemical from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the company from $70.00 to $79.00 in a report on Monday, April 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average 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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