$1.66 Earnings Per Share Expected for Westlake Chemical Co. (WLK) This Quarter
Wall Street analysts expect Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) to announce $1.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Four analysts have issued estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.44 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.89. Westlake Chemical reported earnings per share of $0.87 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 90.8%. The company is scheduled to report its next earnings report on Tuesday, February 20th.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full year earnings of $5.52 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.37 to $5.74. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the firm will report earnings of $6.72 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.19 to $7.43. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Westlake Chemical.
Several analysts have recently weighed in on WLK shares. Cowen lifted their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical from $70.00 to $78.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price objective on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Instinet raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Nomura raised shares of Westlake Chemical from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Westlake Chemical currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $100.42.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Investors of record on Monday, November 27th were issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.82%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 24th. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 18.22%.
In other Westlake Chemical news, CFO Mark Steven Bender sold 6,500 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.83, for a total value of $635,895.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP George J. Mangieri sold 13,381 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction 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 directly owns 10,195 shares in the company, valued at $962,815.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 293,122 shares of company stock worth $27,721,443 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 72.50% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLK. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. grew its holdings in 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 worth $113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,339 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. purchased a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the third quarter valued at $137,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Westlake Chemical by 162.8% during the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,276 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 1,410 shares during the last quarter. Verity Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the second quarter valued at $204,000. Finally, Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Westlake Chemical during the third quarter valued at $204,000. 30.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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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