Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) Coverage Initiated at Morgan Stanley

Research analysts at Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) in a research report issued on Tuesday, January 9th, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage set an “equal weight” rating and a $120.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target indicates a potential upside of 10.32% from the stock’s current price.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on WLK. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Wells Fargo & Co assumed coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. They set a “hold” rating and a $120.00 price target on the stock. Nomura upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. Vertical Research downgraded Westlake Chemical from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Westlake Chemical has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $104.00.

Shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) traded down $1.63 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $108.77. The company had a trading volume of 1,330,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 725,521. Westlake Chemical has a 12 month low of $58.97 and a 12 month high of $114.34. The firm has a market cap of $14,040.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.59, a P/E/G ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.72. The company has a quick ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 2.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.39 by $0.26. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 15.59% and a net margin of 7.74%. equities analysts predict that Westlake Chemical will post 5.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Westlake Chemical news, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.44, for a total transaction of $1,263,701.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 10,195 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $962,815.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 6,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.83, for a total value of $635,895.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443 in the last quarter. 72.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. increased its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 6,376.2% in the third quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 1,360 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,339 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the third quarter valued at approximately $137,000. Verity Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the second quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the third quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical in the third quarter valued at approximately $210,000. 30.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Westlake Chemical

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers and building products. The Company’s products include a range of chemicals, which are fundamental to various consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, water treatment, refrigerants, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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