Cowen lowered shares of Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note released on Friday morning, Marketbeat reports. The firm currently has $100.00 target price on the specialty chemicals company’s stock, down from their previous target price of $120.00.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of Westlake Chemical from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday. MED reiterated a buy rating and set a $135.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price target on shares of Westlake Chemical from $120.00 to $105.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westlake Chemical from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, August 27th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a hold rating and set a $108.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Monday, August 6th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Westlake Chemical has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $115.12.

Shares of NYSE:WLK traded down $2.79 during trading on Friday, reaching $89.21. 1,273,384 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 756,237. Westlake Chemical has a 52-week low of $76.30 and a 52-week high of $124.29. The company has a quick ratio of 1.51, a current ratio of 2.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. The stock has a market cap of $11.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.31, a PEG ratio of 0.79 and a beta of 1.49.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.22 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.52 by ($0.30). Westlake Chemical had a net margin of 18.55% and a return on equity of 19.44%. The firm had revenue of $2.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.19 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.21 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Westlake Chemical will post 8.93 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 12th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 28th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 27th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.12%. This is a boost from Westlake Chemical’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. Westlake Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 18.28%.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Westlake Chemical by 21.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,372,944 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $793,550,000 after purchasing an additional 1,291,053 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 26.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,933,430 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $208,094,000 after acquiring an additional 398,951 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 0.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,130,411 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $121,660,000 after acquiring an additional 3,499 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 2,586.0% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 599,012 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $3,714,000 after acquiring an additional 576,711 shares during the period. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised its position in Westlake Chemical by 18.2% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 489,915 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $54,455,000 after acquiring an additional 75,530 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 31.50% 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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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