Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) gapped up before the market opened on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $41.46, but opened at $41.83. Westlake Chemical Corp. shares last traded at $43.58, with a volume of 276,213 shares trading hands.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. SunTrust Banks Inc. raised Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $44.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 4th. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 target price (up from $53.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research note on Monday, June 13th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their target price on Westlake Chemical Corp. from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 16th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $52.00 target price (up from $50.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research note on Monday, June 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $57.56.

The firm has a market cap of $5.67 billion and a PE ratio of 9.25. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $43.69 and a 200-day moving average of $45.90.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 3rd. The company reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $975.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.02 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.10 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Corp. will post $3.96 EPS for the current year.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in the company. UBS Oconnor LLC increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 197.6% in the fourth quarter. UBS Oconnor LLC now owns 679,280 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,898,000 after buying an additional 451,008 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 103.5% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 219,425 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,919,000 after buying an additional 111,589 shares during the period. Stevens Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $3,800,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. by 32.6% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 226,815 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,320,000 after buying an additional 55,794 shares during the period. Finally, Mandatum Life Insurance Co Ltd bought a new position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,549,000.

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a vertically integrated 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 diverse consumer and industrial markets, including flexible and rigid packaging, automotive products, coatings, residential and commercial construction, as well as other durable and non-durable goods.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.