Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Saturday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Westlake Chemical Partners LP is a manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. It focuses on offering ethylene co-products, including propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen. Its offerings are used for a wide variety of consumer and industrial products, including food packaging, automotive products, coatings, pipes and residential construction materials. Westlake Chemical Partners LP is headquartered in Houston, Texas. “

Shares of NYSE WLKP opened at $21.72 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $23.61. Westlake Chemical Partners has a 52-week low of $20.25 and a 52-week high of $26.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $711.05 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.74 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a current ratio of 6.12, a quick ratio of 6.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41.

Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The basic materials company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $270.06 million during the quarter. Westlake Chemical Partners had a net margin of 4.18% and a return on equity of 5.53%. Equities analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Partners will post 1.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 26th. Investors of record on Monday, August 12th will be given a dividend of $0.458 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 9th. This is a positive change from Westlake Chemical Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. This represents a $1.83 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 8.43%. Westlake Chemical Partners’s payout ratio is presently 121.19%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 481.8% during the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 13,701 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $331,000 after acquiring an additional 11,346 shares during the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC boosted its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 81.3% during the first quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 15,691 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $356,000 after acquiring an additional 7,037 shares during the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP boosted its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 4.4% during the second quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 31,462 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $774,000 after acquiring an additional 1,318 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 41.5% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 33,831 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $832,000 after acquiring an additional 9,915 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its position in Westlake Chemical Partners by 2.3% during the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 56,434 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,388,000 after acquiring an additional 1,255 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 48.30% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical Partners Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Partners LP acquires, develops, and operates ethylene production facilities and related assets in the United States. The company's ethylene production facilities primarily convert ethane into ethylene. It also sells ethylene co-products, including propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen directly to third parties on a spot or contract basis.

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