Equities analysts predict that Westlake Chemical Co. (NYSE:WLK) will announce $2.16 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have provided estimates for Westlake Chemical’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $2.07 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $2.21 billion. Westlake Chemical reported sales of $2.01 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 7.5%. The firm is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 19th.

On average, analysts expect that Westlake Chemical will report full year sales of $8.79 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $8.68 billion to $8.85 billion. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will report sales of $9.21 billion, with estimates ranging from $8.95 billion to $9.61 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for Westlake Chemical.

Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The specialty chemicals company reported $2.35 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.24 by $0.11. Westlake Chemical had a return on equity of 19.75% and a net margin of 19.36%. The firm had revenue of $2.26 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.24 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.61 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on WLK. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westlake Chemical from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, December 1st. Alembic Global Advisors restated a “buy” rating on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Monday, November 26th. SunTrust Banks restated a “positive” rating and set a $81.00 price target on shares of Westlake Chemical in a report on Thursday, November 15th. BMO Capital Markets set a $94.00 price target on Westlake Chemical and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Finally, Nomura reduced their price target on Westlake Chemical from $100.00 to $92.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $109.76.

Shares of NYSE:WLK opened at $68.37 on Monday. Westlake Chemical has a 1-year low of $66.91 and a 1-year high of $124.29. The company has a quick ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 2.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. The firm has a market cap of $8.83 billion, a PE ratio of 12.50, a P/E/G ratio of 0.64 and a beta of 1.59.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 11th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 27th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 26th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.46%. Westlake Chemical’s payout ratio is 18.28%.

In related news, CEO Albert Chao sold 40,000 shares of Westlake Chemical stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.47, for a total value of $2,938,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 321,374 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,611,347.78. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 72.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 2,645.6% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 19,576 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $2,106,000 after purchasing an additional 18,863 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 54.7% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 34,503 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $3,714,000 after purchasing an additional 12,202 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in Westlake Chemical by 11.8% in the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 39,219 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock worth $4,221,000 after purchasing an additional 4,144 shares during the last quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. purchased a new position in Westlake Chemical in the second quarter worth about $1,559,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted 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 purchasing an additional 398,951 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 29.72% 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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Earnings History and Estimates for Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK)

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