Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) shot up 1.6% during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $52.46 and last traded at $52.10, with a volume of 482,338 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $51.27.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on WLK. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 price objective (up previously from $53.00) on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Vetr downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.76 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, July 11th. RBC Capital Markets raised shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $47.00 to $59.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 16th. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. raised shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $44.00 to $52.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $58.25.

The company’s 50-day moving average is $47.32 and its 200-day moving average is $45.86. The company has a market capitalization of $6.74 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.06.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.11. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.41 earnings per share. The company had revenue of $1.09 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.06 billion. Westlake Chemical Corp.’s revenue was down 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Westlake Chemical Corp. will post $3.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be issued a $0.1906 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st. This is a boost from Westlake Chemical Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.46%.

In other Westlake Chemical Corp. news, VP George J. Mangieri sold 30,714 shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.00, for a total value of $1,597,128.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 54,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,839,668. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Westlake Chemical Corp. stock. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK) by 32.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 226,815 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 55,794 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.17% of Westlake Chemical Corp. worth $12,320,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

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.

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