Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) Shares Up 5%

Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK)’s stock price shot up 5% during trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $63.74 and last traded at $63.66, 639,531 shares were traded during mid-day trading. A decline of 27% from the average session volume of 875,530 shares. The stock had previously closed at $60.60.

WLK has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.82 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 15th. Nomura lowered their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $57.00 to $53.00 and set a “reduce” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Bank of America downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 16th. Barclays lowered shares of Westlake Chemical from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $72.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets cut their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $75.00 to $71.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Westlake Chemical presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $77.05.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $61.91 and its 200-day moving average price is $66.17. The firm has a market cap of $8.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.62, a P/E/G ratio of 2.62 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 2.07 and a quick ratio of 1.33.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.92 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.08. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 7.39% and a return on equity of 11.05%. The firm had revenue of $2.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.15 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.12 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 3.75 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 27th will be issued a dividend of $0.2625 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 26th. This represents a $1.05 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.56%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 13.44%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WLK. Huntington National Bank bought a new stake in Westlake Chemical during the 2nd quarter worth about $25,000. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $25,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $28,000. Icon Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the 1st quarter worth approximately $37,000. Finally, TCG Advisors LP bought a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the first quarter worth approximately $39,000. Institutional investors own 30.64% of the company’s stock.

About Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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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