Citigroup Begins Coverage on Westlake Chemical Partners (WLKP)

Citigroup assumed coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat reports. The firm issued a buy rating and a $25.50 price target on the basic materials company’s stock.

WLKP has been the topic of several other research reports. ValuEngine downgraded Westlake Chemical Partners from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. BidaskClub downgraded Westlake Chemical Partners from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $27.75.

Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE WLKP) traded up $0.15 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $22.65. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 151,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 50,948. Westlake Chemical Partners has a 12 month low of $20.00 and a 12 month high of $26.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 4.84 and a quick ratio of 4.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $608.83, a P/E ratio of 14.33, a P/E/G ratio of 4.10 and a beta of 1.18.

Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The basic materials company reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.06. Westlake Chemical Partners had a return on equity of 4.73% and a net margin of 3.80%. The company had revenue of $296.78 million for the quarter. equities analysts expect that Westlake Chemical Partners will post 1.46 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 29th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 14th were issued a $0.3756 dividend. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, November 13th. This is an increase from Westlake Chemical Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. Westlake Chemical Partners’s payout ratio is currently 95.54%.

In related news, CEO Albert Chao bought 14,900 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $21.98 per share, with a total value of $327,502.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 45,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $989,100. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director James Chao bought 8,473 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $22.17 per share, with a total value of $187,846.41. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 35,748 shares of company stock worth $787,823 in the last quarter.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Harvest Fund Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Partners by 8.1% during the 3rd quarter. Harvest Fund Advisors LLC now owns 3,251,681 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $73,813,000 after acquiring an additional 242,801 shares in the last quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Partners by 109.2% during the 3rd quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. now owns 651,460 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $14,788,000 after acquiring an additional 340,000 shares in the last quarter. Bamco Inc. NY boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Partners by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Bamco Inc. NY now owns 350,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $8,662,000 after acquiring an additional 2,668 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Partners by 12.5% during the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 334,672 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,597,000 after acquiring an additional 37,174 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Magnetar Financial LLC acquired a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical Partners during the 3rd quarter worth about $4,764,000. 55.16% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Westlake Chemical Partners Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Partners LP is a limited partnership formed by Westlake Chemical Corporation (Westlake). The Company operates, acquires and develops ethylene production facilities and other assets. Its business and operations are conducted through Westlake Chemical OpCo LP (OpCo). OpCo sells ethylene to Westlake and others, as well as sells co-products of ethylene production, including propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline and hydrogen.

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