Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) by 243.6% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 263,581 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock after acquiring an additional 186,872 shares during the quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN owned about 0.20% of Westlake Chemical worth $28,079,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 218.5% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 934,937 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $77,683,000 after buying an additional 641,432 shares in the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP raised its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 1.1% in the third quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 748,884 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $62,225,000 after purchasing an additional 8,184 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 6.5% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 708,449 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $58,874,000 after purchasing an additional 43,282 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 252.9% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 592,581 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $49,509,000 after purchasing an additional 424,655 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 6.0% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 575,374 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $38,095,000 after purchasing an additional 32,736 shares in the last quarter. 30.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) traded down $1.79 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $116.35. The stock had a trading volume of 494,680 shares, compared to its average volume of 798,282. Westlake Chemical Co. has a 12 month low of $59.58 and a 12 month high of $121.30. The firm has a market capitalization of $15,281.89, a PE ratio of 11.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 1.30 and a current ratio of 1.76.
Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.62 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by ($0.07). Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 16.22% and a return on equity of 16.48%. The business had revenue of $2.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.06 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.87 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Co. will post 8.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 13th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th were given a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.72%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, February 26th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 8.41%.
A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on WLK shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Westlake Chemical from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Bank of America downgraded Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $105.00 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. They set a “hold” rating and a $120.00 target price for the company. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on Westlake Chemical in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $120.00 price objective for the company. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and issued a $121.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Friday, February 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $111.43.
In related news, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 6,028 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $723,360.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 17,465 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,095,800. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CAO L. Benjamin Ederington sold 6,942 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.45, for a total value of $773,685.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 13,111 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,461,220.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 103,080 shares of company stock valued at $11,545,548 in the last three months. 72.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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Westlake Chemical Company Profile
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.
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