Shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the twenty research firms that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, thirteen have assigned a hold recommendation and four have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $53.47.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on WLK shares. Citigroup increased their target price on Westlake Chemical from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 5th. Deutsche Bank increased their target price on Westlake Chemical from $50.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group increased their target price on Westlake Chemical from $26.00 to $28.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 6th. Cfra raised Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $37.00 to $56.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 4th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, March 9th.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 9.6% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,741,435 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $142,810,000 after acquiring an additional 329,022 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,015,365 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $211,528,000 after acquiring an additional 187,428 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 161.2% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 840,625 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $32,087,000 after acquiring an additional 518,844 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 738,969 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $51,839,000 after acquiring an additional 2,532 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new position in Westlake Chemical in the fourth quarter valued at $34,237,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 27.66% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical stock traded down $0.28 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $53.79. 6,762 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 677,154. Westlake Chemical has a twelve month low of $28.99 and a twelve month high of $75.65. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $49.35 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $53.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 2.77 and a current ratio of 3.68. The firm has a market cap of $6.75 billion, a PE ratio of 13.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 18.27 and a beta of 1.69.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its earnings results on Monday, May 4th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.57 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $1.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.90 billion. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 6.41% and a net margin of 6.16%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.55 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Westlake Chemical will post 1.22 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, June 9th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 26th were issued a dividend of $0.2625 per share. This represents a $1.05 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.95%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 22nd. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.21%.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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