Westlake Chemical (WLK) Given Buy Rating at MED

MED restated their buy rating on shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) in a report issued on Thursday. MED currently has a $130.00 price target on the specialty chemicals company’s stock.

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on WLK. ValuEngine raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, May 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Westlake Chemical from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Cowen raised their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical from $122.00 to $124.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, May 11th. BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Tuesday, March 27th. They issued a market perform rating and a $125.00 target price on the stock. Finally, SunTrust Banks reissued a buy rating and issued a $121.00 target price on shares of Westlake Chemical in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $116.81.

Shares of Westlake Chemical traded up $0.38, hitting $121.21, during mid-day trading on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. 10,385 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 813,182. Westlake Chemical has a twelve month low of $118.77 and a twelve month high of $121.82. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.13, a P/E/G ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 1.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 1.79 and a quick ratio of 1.22.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.11. Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 17.61% and a return on equity of 17.77%. The company had revenue of $2.15 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.14 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.06 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical will post 8.71 EPS for the current year.

In other news, SVP Andrew Kenner sold 24,318 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.61, for a total transaction of $2,689,813.98. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 20,005 shares in the company, valued at $2,212,753.05. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert F. Buesinger sold 1,447 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.88, for a total transaction of $172,019.36. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 2,642 shares in the company, valued at approximately $314,080.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 128,085 shares of company stock worth $14,481,611 in the last 90 days. 72.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 7.5% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,555,400 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $165,696,000 after buying an additional 108,434 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 4.1% during the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,476,810 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $157,324,000 after buying an additional 58,230 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 14.9% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,074,502 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $114,466,000 after buying an additional 139,565 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 95.7% during the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 763,942 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $84,913,000 after buying an additional 373,510 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its position in shares of Westlake Chemical by 8.3% during the fourth quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 544,035 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $57,956,000 after buying an additional 41,561 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.75% of the company’s stock.

Westlake Chemical Company Profile

Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and building products primarily in North America and Europe. 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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